Frequently Asked Questions

What is United Way of San Joaquin County?
United Way of San Joaquin County is an autonomous local nonprofit corporation run by an elected, unpaid board of directors and a paid staff of 5 whose mission is to maximize charitable giving and nonprofit resources for the people of San Joaquin County, California. In short, United Way of San Joaquin County helps you work together to help those in need.

What does United Way do?
United Way of San Joaquin County unifies and maximizes the community’s nonprofit resources. Since opening its doors in 1926, United Way of San Joaquin County has conducted an annual charitable fundraising campaign in the workplace and distributed those funds among local nonprofit organizations for programs to help those in need.  Also bringing local resources together to maximize human service delivery systems.

How does United Way Impact the Community?
United Way conducts an annual charitable fundraising campaign in the workplace and then studies local needs and programs and distributes the donated dollars where they will get the most for the community. The annual San Joaquin County campaign raises between $3 and $3.5 million a year. It is estimated that since its existence began in 1926, United Way of San Joaquin County has raised $100 million to help the needy in our local community. That’s a REAL impact!

Why should I give my hard-earned money at all?
While reading a newspaper or watching the TV news you can see that there are needs all around us right here in our own community.  United Way offers you the chance to give, advance the common good and LIVE UNITED.

Is it easy to give through United Way?
Yes, it is easy to give using United Way’s automatic payroll giving at your workplace. Payroll giving makes charitable giving simple and effortless. You the donor chooses how much to give each pay period.  Over a year, your monthly payroll deduction adds up to a sizable and meaningful investment in your community.

You can also donate online, with a phone call and a credit card or check.

Where does my money go?
Your United Way investment, combined with those of thousands of other caring San Joaquin County donors, addresses the health and human service needs of our community. United Way volunteers invest your contributions in local programs that are proven to make our community stronger and safer, helping people to live better lives. With your money, United Way analyzes community needs, invests in local nonprofits, builds awareness of important issues, creates partnerships and develops prevention-based programs aimed at stemming problems before they take root.

Is my United Way donation tax deductible?
Yes, your gift is tax-deductible if you itemize on your tax return, subject to IRS restrictions.

Why does United Way implement a 15% processing fee on donations?

In order to conduct business, an organization has operating expenses. Prior to 2008, the United Way of San Joaquin was unique to our industry, in that our overhead expenses were paid by local business leaders and concerned individuals allowing us to forward 100% of donations made to the nonprofit agencies in San Joaquin County.

However, the drastic change in our economy affected the ability of business and/or individuals to continue that same level of support, and inJuly of 2008, the United Way of San Joaquin implemented a 15% processing fee on all donations that pass through the agency, up to a maximum of $1,000 per donor. This decision was not made without thorough research; comparison to other United Way agencies, counsel with other nonprofit agencies in our county, and with the full support of theBoard of Directors.  United Way of San Joaquin will work with individual employers that will provide 15% of the total workplace giving campaign as corporate underwriting so that the employees’ gift is a 100% donation to the agency of their choice.

The services United Way of San Joaquin County performs that are funded by such a fee:

  • Provides a Campaign Kickoff in the fall of each year that builds enthusiasm for giving to the nonprofits of the community.
  • Setting up and running workplace campaigns for hundreds of local employers. This means that United Way staff approaches employee groups, indicates how to fill out contribution forms and assists in presentations by local nonprofit groups that assist in building the rationale for giving.
  • Identifies additional employer groups to present to in order to expand workplace giving. Assures nonprofits are appropriately credentialed as local charities.
  • Collects and accounts for payroll deductions from participating employee groups.
  • Disburses funds on a regular basis to charities selected by employees and other individuals.
  • Provides a positive image to encourage giving in both designated (directed by the individual) and non- designated giving.

These services are labor intensive and must be funded. The United Way of San Joaquin County continues to have the lowest overhead of any comparable agency and is committed to maintain and control overhead and to provide value to the community it serves.

United Way of San Joaquin County always discloses that there is a 15% fee on designations made directly by the recipient.  Not all of the services United Way of San Joaquin County performs are covered by such a fee.

Why should I give to United Way instead of giving directly to an agency?
There are several reasons why giving to and through United Way is the best way to help the most people in our community. They include:

1. By investing in United Way of San Joaquin County, you help provide multiple solutions to critical education, health and income needs in our community. You don’t have to choose which need is most important because United Way addresses them all.

2. Community volunteers carefully review each United Way-funded program on an annual basis. Their oversight ensures that agencies adhere to sound fiscal policies and that your contribution is invested in programs that do the most good for all.

3. Giving through United Way reduces costly and time-consuming fundraising efforts for the agencies providing programs. This is enables them to better spend their time helping those who need help, instead of raising money.

4. When you give through your workplace campaign, your gift can be spread out over the course of a year through payroll giving, making it easier for you to support the human care needs in our community.

5. When you give to UWSJC, your gift is combined and invested with the contributions of others to help provide a continuum of care for those in need. Your gift enables you to partner with us in creating sustained changes in community conditions that improve the lives of thousands of people in need throughout San Joaquin County.

Why should I invest in United Way if I never use any of the agency services?
Giving back to your community is a wonderful feeling.  Investing in United Way will assure that United Way and its partner agencies are able to provide their needed services to improve the community.  No one can predict the future and you never know when you, a co-worker, a neighbor or loved one might need the services of these nonprofit agencies.

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