Glad You Asked / Frequently Asked Questions
What is the United Way of Charles County?
The United Way of Charles County is an independent, locally controlled fundraising organization, one of approximately 1400 nationwide. It was incorporated in 1983 by a group of Charles County citizens who wanted to consolidate the many worthwhile charitable agencies in the county. It is currently the only organization in Charles County providing payroll deduction opportunities in the workplace.
We partner with many organizations, public institutions and government agencies to tackle issues and help solve the problems of the community. We produce an annual Directory of Human Services, a much used and sought-after tool to help locate health and human services in the region. We administer FamilyWize Prescription Drug Discount Program, and partner with The Wireless Alliance on a cell phone recycling project. We give out grants to Partner Agencies doing significant work in the areas of Education, Income and Health. Our womens' initiative, the Women's Leadership Council, raises and distributes funds to programs helping women and children who lack basic preventive healthcare and other basics of safe and healthy living.
Your local United Way operates under the authority of an all-volunteer Board of Directors , all of whom live and/or work in Charles County. There are two paid staff members: Michael D. Bellis, Executive Director and Terrie Horstkamp, Manager of Finance and Administration. They are accountable to the Board and the Board is accountable to the public for the use of funds collected during our annual campaigns.
Where does United Way of Charles County's money come from?
About 85% of the money raised by United Way of Charles County comes from payroll deduction campaigns in the workplace. Another 14% comes from corporate contributions and 1% comes from miscellaneous residential gifts.
I'm confused about some of the code numbers I've seen. What number should I specify on my pledge card to make sure my money comes home to Charles County?
Federal employees giving through the Combined Federal Campaign can designate “our” number on the pledge card, use #62846. Maryland State employees can give through the Maryland Charity Campaign by designating #52-1356960. If your company conducts its campaign through another United Way, such as the United Way of the National Capital Area, you can still designate your contribution by writing in “United Way of Charles County, Maryland” in the space provided.
I work at home. How can I give to United Way of Charles County?
United Way of Charles County’s Residential Donor Program makes it easy for people outside the traditional work environment to give a tax deductible gift that benefits many local partner agencies. If it’s more convenient for you, we will be happy to bill you quarterly, semi-annually or annually, or you may charge your pledge on your Visa, MasterCard or American Express card. On-line donations are available, go to the "DONATE" tab to learn more.
What portion of my charitable dollar actually gets to the agencies themselves?
UWCC administrative and fundraising expenses total about 10%. This figure compares very favorably with the national average.
Can I pick and choose the partner agencies I want to receive my United Way donation?
You may choose any agency or initiative listed on our brochure. This includes the Community Impact Fund, our Partner Agencies, the Women's Leadership Council, or any of the Community Health Charities. You may also designate the general fund of any other United Way.
The way to touch the most lives with a single gift is by designating our Community Impact Fund. This fund is used to support programs and services which impact our community's critical needs. We are working to alleviate the root causes of some of the our most challenging problems, and at the same time, we use money from this fund to deliver help to our agencies who are helping Charles Countians in short-term emergency situations. Finally, we have used this fund to enter into partnerships with other non-profits, both local and national, which we believe will be of widespread benefit here in Charles County.
What if I want to give to an agency that isn't a partner of United Way of Charles County?
The United Way of Charles County is committed to tackling our community’s most pressing problems and focusing our resources and our expertise on solving those problems. THEREFORE, UNITED WAY OF CHARLES COUNTY WILL ONLY ACCEPT DONATIONS TO THE COMMUNITY IMPACT FUND, OUR PARTNER AGENCIES, OUR SPECIAL INIATIVES, THE COMMUNITY HEALTH CHARITIES, OR ANOTHER UNITED WAY'S GENERAL FUND.
Why should I give to United Way of Charles County - why not give directly to an individual non-profit?
There are two key reasons to give to United Way rather than directly to a non-profit.
First, United Way's annual campaign efforts give our partners a reliable source of funding. Instead of taking time and resources to solicit individual contributions, these organizations can count on United Way to administer a single, cost-effective campaign that raises money for our local Partner agencies through the designation process. While our non-profit partners may have additional sources of income - such as foundation grants, events, and government assistance - United Way donations provide crucial ongoing funding for their services and programs.
Second, and more importantly, your investment in United Way of Charles County is an investment in a powerful network of interconnected programs and services. No non-profit organization stands alone. Take the example of a homeless individual. A shelter can supply much needed food, clothing and temporary housing. But what if that individual needs a job, or transportation to that job, or child care so that he or she can keep the job. What if the homelessness is a result of domestic violence or mental illness? Those issues need to be addressed and resolved. And what about finding permanent, affordable housing? In other words, homelessness is seldom THE problem. When you donate to United Way, your contribution also goes to programs that can help find work, transportation, permanent housing, child care, and so much more. It takes a system of support to get a person or family back on their feet. By donating to United Way, you strengthen that system. And by strengthening the system, you strengthen your entire community.
Besides giving money, how else can I get involved?
One way you can help is to donate your time. We sponsor an annual Day of Caring where volunteers can work at one of our agency sites. There are plenty of projects for all interests and skill levels. All of our partner agencies rely heavily on their volunteer pools, both for day-to-day activities and special events. Go to our "Get Involved" page to learn more.