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 stability, and health of every person in Bullitt, Jefferson, Oldham, and Shelby counties in Kentucky and Clark, Floyd, and Harrison Counties in Indiana. We tackle tough issues that make a lasting difference here in Kentuckiana, and we create opportunities for our community to succeed — like preparing more children to be ready 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; and ensuring everyone has a safe place to call home.
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 65 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.
Your gift to Metro United Way powerfully demonstrates your commitment to our community. When you give to Metro United Way, you transform the lives of your Kentuckiana neighbors every single day.
People often hear the word “advocacy” and think of professional lobbyists. Advocacy is much more than lobbying — and anyone can be an advocate! It can be as simple as posting a tweet in support of a policy or emailing your legislator about an issue that matters to you.
We know that your time is precious, and we’re grateful for any that you’re able to lend. We mobilize thousands of volunteers in our community each year and we wouldn’t be able to accomplish our goals without each and every one of them. We invite you to join us!
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 stability, and health.
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, based on research, in the region 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 stability, and health—the building blocks for a good quality of life.
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: What is overhead exactly? How much of the donations raised by Metro United Way go toward helping people?
A: Overhead refers to our management and administration and fundraising costs. Metro United Way has a very lean structure and maintains a very low overhead percentage. Our pure overhead is 7%. When combined with fundraising expenses it’s only 19%.
Of each dollar raised, 19 cents goes to the costs of administering the organization and running the annual campaign. Therefore approximately 81 cents out of every dollar raised goes directly to helping people. This is very low in comparison to most charities and falls far below the 35% overhead threshold suggested by the Better Business Bureau as acceptable.
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 99 partner agencies across our seven-county region.
Q: Why does Metro United Way support a system of programs instead of a cause?
A: Because we have one goal — to create a community where everyone can succeed. To accomplish this, it means we must sometimes redirect our efforts.
Instead of focusing on one single cause, Metro 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. We view these areas as interconnected, much as the issues people face tend to be. They’re often complicated, with no one single solution.
Q: How do community service agencies become Metro United Way funded agency partners?
A: Metro United Way fights for the education, financial stability, and health for all people—does your organization do work in that space?
Currently, we do not have an open opportunity to apply for funding, but if you’d like to learn more about our funding process and other opportunities for your organization to work with us, please contact our Community Impact team.
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.