Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does Metro United Way do?
A: At Metro United Way we change lives in our community by fighting for the education, financial independence and health of every person in our seven-county region. We tackle tough issues and create the conditions that make a lasting difference in the lives of our neighbors, co-workers, families, and friends – like preparing more children to be ready for their first day of kindergarten, ensuring more of our teens graduate high school college and career ready, helping folks find jobs and keep more of what they earn; connecting people to the resources they need to meet their basic needs and live a healthy life, and advocating for the policies necessary to address the root causes of many of the issues we confront on a daily basis.
Q: What is Metro United Way’s service area?
A: We serve seven counties in Kentucky and Indiana — Bullitt, Jefferson, Oldham, and Shelby counties in Kentucky and Clark, Floyd, and Harrison in Indiana.
Q: Who runs Metro United Way?
A: United Way is a volunteer-led organization. We are governed by a local board of directors composed of business and community leaders. A staff team of about 70 works hand-in-hand with the board and dozens of other leadership and community volunteers.
Q: How is our United Way connected with others?
A: Metro United Way is an independent and self-governing 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.
Q: How can I get help?
A: Metro United Way’s 2-1-1 information and referral service directs people looking for resources to help them face life challenges, often for the first time, to the appropriate service provider. 2-1-1 is a free and confidential service that’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You can find help with everything from utility payment assistance; tax preparation help; food, health, or medical needs; and more. For more information, please visit metrounitedway.org/211, call or text 2-1-1, reference the 2-1-1 phone app or call us at (502) 583-2821.
Joining Metro United Way
Q: What can I do to help?
A: Behind all our work, there are people like you who get involved in big and small — but always significant — ways to ensure a better future for their family and their community. You can give, advocate and volunteer to join us and Live United. Visit metrounitedway.org/getinvolved to learn more and take action.
Q: Why should I give to Metro United Way?
A: Metro 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 making sure our community succeeds in the areas of education, financial independence, and health. The dollars we raise stay local and serve you, your neighbors, your co-workers, your family and your friends.
Q: Why should I give to Metro United Way rather than to a single agency directly?
A: Metro United Way makes sure your money goes where it’s needed most. We offer donors the opportunity to support the entire community and maximize their giving. By giving to Metro United Way, you give us the power to attack the most pressing needs in the region, based on research, to create lasting changes. Knowing where the most pressing needs are is a strength of Metro United Way. Donors who give to Metro United Way know that they are supporting work that will strengthen their entire community. Another advantage of investing in Metro United Way is the assurance that there is diligent monitoring to ensure your dollars are making the greatest impact.
Q: What if I already give to other organizations?
A: There are many organizations that we as individuals support: our schools, churches, environmental organizations, or personal charities of choice. At Metro United Way, we respect those commitments and ask you that you extend your charitable giving by investing in our work to strengthen the foundation of our community through education, financial independence, and health.
Giving to Metro United Way has been described as a “Good Housekeeping” seal of approval. Because agency partners must go through a certification process, your gift to Metro United Way supports programs that are fully vetted and certified.
Q: How can I be sure my gift is spent wisely?
A: Our volunteer leadership works hard with great thought, purpose and consideration to reach recommendations and gain approval from our board—a group that consists of a wide range of business and community leaders—of our investment plan. Ultimately, these decisions help us align strategic partnerships so that the community benefits while achieving the biggest impact for our dollars.
Metro United Way adheres to stringent standards of accounting and financial reporting set for voluntary health and human-service organizations. Our organization is audited by an external firm every year; our Audited Financials, IRS tax form 990 and Donor Bill of Rights may be reviewed on our website at metrounitedway.org.
Q: Does my gift stay in my community?
A: Every dollar raised in your community stays in your community. We are making sure the dollars are working to help your neighbors, coworkers, family members, and in some cases the very individuals who donate and volunteer with us.
Q: What is overhead exactly? How much of the donations raised by Metro United Way go toward helping people?
A: Overhead is a term originally used to measure the various cost components of a product being manufactured. In the nonprofit world, it often refers to our management, administration and fundraising costs. It’s actually people – people that are passionate about issues that strengthen neighborhoods and that improve lives. Metro United Way has a very lean structure and maintains a very low overhead percentage.
Of each dollar pledged by the public, approximately 18 cents is spent on the costs of administering the organization, including executive leadership and oversight, raising funds and providing the appropriate stewardship of those funds. These costs are integral and necessary to Metro United Way’s overall mission of improving lives and our community. Approximately 79 cents out of every dollar raised goes directly to helping people. The remaining 3 cents represents uncollectible pledges, one of the lowest rates in our industry.
Our overhead rate is very low in comparison to most charities and falls far below the 35% overhead threshold suggested by the Better Business Bureau as acceptable. If you’d like additional details on our costs, you can review our Audited Financials and IRS 990 Form on our website or at guidestar.org.
Programs, Initiatives, and Services
Q: What organizations does Metro United Way fund?
A: Metro United Way invests in more than 150 programs and community change efforts at more than 100 partner agencies across our seven-county region.
Q: How do community service agencies become Metro United Way funded agency partners?
A: Metro United Way fights for the education, financial independence, and health for all people. Does your organization do work in that space? If so, please contact our Community Impact team so we can learn more about your work. We are constantly evaluating our investments to make the most impact against our community needs.
Q: How does Metro United Way make annual funding decisions?
A: Volunteer leadership make investment decisions based on their quality and impact, alignment to Metro United Way’s priorities, and stewardship of the dollars. All funding is contingent upon the partner’s sound operation, delivery of services, and achievement of measurable outcomes.