Frequently Asked Questions
To help familiarize you with your United Way, we've tried to answer some of the most frequently asked questions we are asked. If you still have questions, feel free to e-mail us (we will attempt to answer your question within a few days).
Why should I give to United Way?
We all have our favorite charities, but the problems of our community are more than one organization can handle.
The contributions you make provide a "safety net" of services that you, your neighbors and friends can rely on. No other charitable effort offers the opportunity to help with so many of our community's critical problems; problems such as crime, substance abuse and school issues.
Where does my contribution go?
United Way-supported agencies serve youth, families under stress, the handicapped, the unemployed and the hungry and homeless; and they provide substance abuse education, recreation, medical research, home nursing visits and many other services.
Is my contribution used effectively?
More than $300,000 dollars from the 2014 campaign has been allocated to 26 agencies. Each agency identifies problems and concerns in our community and then presents their funding needs to the Board of Directors. The board carefully reviews and makes recommendations on each request. This careful review process ensures that your contribution helps where help is needed most.
Seward County United Way's year-round administrative and campaign costs amounted to less than 12 cents of each dollar raised in 2014. In other words, more than 88 cents of every dollar goes for services. This makes United Way's overhead one of the lowest in the nation, ensuring that the money is spent as it is intended to be spent ... to help people. Furthermore, that money stays right here, helping in our community. No other charitable effort offers the opportunity to help with so many of our community's critical problems. Your gift touches the lives of so many.
How can overhead costs be so low?
Our volunteers assist United Way in helping those in need. Volunteers do everything from collecting contributions to deciding where the money will go. There is one full-time staff person and all of the rest of the campaign and work depends on volunteers. The Seward County United Way has also become the fiscal agent for grant funds for the Liberal Area Coalition for Families and receives administrative fees. This keeps overhead costs low, so more money can be spent on health and human services.
First National Bank also has been VERY generous in providing office space.
Is my gift really important? Will my contribution be missed if I don't give?
Yes, your gift would be missed. Programs and services will not continue if essential funds are missing.
For example, when the federal government froze funding, our Senior Care program had to operate for several months exclusively on United Way funds. This program helps individuals 60 and older stay in their own home as long as possible with the assistance of program workers. The Stepping Stone Shelter relies on United Way funds to pay for such essential services as salaries and services not covered by its grants.
Your contribution helps to house the homeless and feed the hungry every day. Your gift is definitely important. We can't depend on others to meet our community's needs. It takes all of us doing our part.
I have given generously in the past. Why should I increase my gift?
Your generosity is very much appreciated. With increasing costs and increasing requests for services, however, your gift does not go nearly as far as it may have two or three years ago. Remember, it's clear that people who may never have sought services before are doing so now. Think more about the current value of your gift in relation to the increased needs of those who have nowhere else to turn.
Who decides how my contribution will be spent?
Our Board of Directors, all volunteers, serve on the review panel and examine detailed budget and service information submitted by the charitable organizations. During each agency's presentation, knowledgeable volunteers thoroughly discuss information and gain a complete understanding of the material presented. The final funding decisions are guided by research into community needs, funds available from other sources to meet those needs and a knowledge of the community. This process ensures that United Way dollars are spent where they are needed the most.
I would like to be a volunteer. How do I get started?To volunteer to assist the Seward County United Way, contact Kay Burtzloff, 620-624-5400 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can visit our web based volunteer site @ http://sewardcountyunitedway.galaxydigital.com/
I need help, who do I contact?
If you've looked at our agency list and aren't sure which agency you need, contact Kay Burtzloff, 620-624-5400 or e-mail email@example.com@sbcglobal.net. You can also use the statewide United Way referral service by calling 211 from any phone.