Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL QUESTIONS

What does United Way do?

In short, United Way helps people. We bring together people and resources to improve the lives of all in our region.
 

What is United Way of the Brazos Valley’s service area?

We serve seven counties that is considered the Brazos Valley region.  Counties include Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Leon, Madison, Robertson and Washington.  There are 325,000 people living in the Brazos Valley region.  
 

Who oversees United Way of the Brazos Valley?

United Way is a local, volunteer-led organization. We are governed by a local Board of Directors who represent many sectors within the service region. The Board develops strategic direction, sets policies and ensures capable staffing. UWBV employs nine full-time employees who work hand-in-hand with the board and other leadership and community volunteers. 
 

How is our United Way connected with others?

United Way of the Brazos Valley is an independent and self-governed member of the United Way Worldwide network. We meet annual membership requirements and receive benefits such as training, national advertising and public policy support, and the ability to draw on “best practices” of United Ways throughout the country. While we are members of United Way Worldwide, we are not a branch office or division of United Way Worldwide. Each United Way is independent from one another allowing us to be an adaptive organization for the communities we serve. 
 

How much of your annual budget is spent on administration?

UWBV’s most recent annual audit showed a 16% administrative cost, meaning 84% of your dollars are used to provide services to people in need here in the Brazos Valley.
 

How can I get help for myself or someone I know?

Simply call 2-1-1, a free, confidential non-emergency hotline that will connect you to health and human services. 2-1-1 Texas is available 24/7/365 in more than 150 languages and available online. Our Specialists can connect you with important community services, such as child care, flu-shot information, employment assistance, volunteer opportunities, counseling, food, shelter, and more.
 

Does United Way of the Brazos Valley support Planned Parenthood?

United Way of the Brazos Valley, in its 62 year history, has not provided funding to Planned Parenthood. For more detail on this sensitive issue, read our blog post on this question.  

 
 

GIVING

Why should I give to United Way?

United Way is a change agent, working to create long-term solutions to the challenges facing our community AND addressing immediate needs. Your gift is combined with thousands of others and invested in initiatives and programs essential to achieving the region’s Bold Goals in Education, Financial Stability and Health.
 

How can I give?

Giving to United Way should be easy. We have a few ways to meet your preference:
  • Donate online at any time
  • Make a gift through payroll deductions during your company’s annual United Way campaign
  • Mail a gift or drop it by our office: 1716 Briarcrest Drive, Suite 155, Bryan, TX 77802. Our office hours are Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
How do I know my money is going to be well spent?
United Way of the Brazos Valley takes each and every contribution very seriously.  We hold ourselves to high standards; we are governed by a community volunteer-led Board of Directors and we have an external audit done annually by a reputable accounting firm. Additionally, we use your contributions to invest in our community.  Through a vigorous volunteer-led grant review process, we invest your donations in programs hosted by 22 Community Impact Partner Agencies.  Each of these partners are reviewed by a panel of volunteers to ensure that funds will be utilized in a way to create maximum impact in our community.
 

Why should I give to United Way instead of directly to an agency or group?

United Way looks at the big issues that impact all aspects of the community. Instead of funding just one charity, gifts made directly to United Way are distributed through our competative grant process, so they support the most effective local programs witht he broadest impact in the areas of education, financial stability and health. Supporting United Way also helps build a network of nonprofit organizations, each focused on their specific mission, but connect together through our common goals. Together, we are able to respond to neighbors in need in a more efficient and effective manner.  If you’re passionate about a specific cause, talk with us about opportunities to target your gift to one of our impact areas – education, financial stability or health.
 

But what if I want to make a contribution to a specific nonprofit through United Way?

If you have a special interest in one of our impact areas – education, income or health – you may designate your gift to that cause on your pledge form. If there is a specific initiative or agency partner you’d like to support, you can also designate a portion of your gift. Our Designation Policy explains how you can go about doing this. 
 

Are United Way donations tax-deductible?

United Way of the Brazos Valley is a federally registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by an individual’s or corporation’s circumstances. Those contributing through payroll deduction in their workplace should keep a copy of their pledge form and maintain their last pay stub of the tax year or Form W-2 from their employer that summarizes the amount withheld for United Way. For any donations recieved through cash, check or credit card over $250, a letter of reciept will be mailed by January 30 of each year.
 

What if I feel pressured to give?

Neither United Way nor its volunteers believe people should be forced to give. We discourage coercion in any form. Pressure defeats the very idea of voluntary giving. Any semblance of pressure (whether real, implied or perceived) is contradictory to our operating standards. If you feel that you have been pressured to give in a workplace campaign, please contact your Employee Campaign Coordinator to express your concern or contact us.
 

PROGRAMS, INITIATIVES & SERVICES

What organizations does United Way support?

United Way of the Brazos Valley invests in programs hosted by 22 partner agencies.  Additionally, United Way supports Investment Initiatives, collaborative programs to address specific needs in the Brazos Valley.   These include 2-1-1 Texas, Youth Leadership Cabinet, and the Early Literacy Program
 

Why does United Way support a system of programs instead of a cause?

Instead of focusing on one single cause, United Way invests in a system of programs and services across the areas of Education, Financial Stability and Health to meet the varied needs of people in our region. As the building blocks for life, we view these areas as interconnected. They're often complicated, with no one single solution. We invest in organizations to help them make the biggest impact possible – both independently and in partnership with each other.
 

How does United Way decide what programs to fund?

Organizations are eligible to apply for programmatic investment funds called Community Impact Grants every three years.  Volunteers make investment decisions based on their impact, alignment to our Bold Goals for our region, and accountability. All funding is contingent upon the partner’s sound operation, delivery of services and achievement of measurable outcomes. If you’d like to learn more about how United Way makes its investment decisions, contact our Community Impact department. 
 

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