FAQs

Why give through United Way Monterey County?

UWMC is a locally governed organization that identifies and addresses the most critical issues and needs of the people within our community. What makes United Way so effective is that it helps our entire community (it is comprehensive giving), your dollars remain in the community (it is local) and payroll deductions make it easy to give!

 

Why the focus on Financial Stability for families?

We know that regardless of how hard they work, for many families in Monterey County, the cost of housing and child care makes it difficult to get ahead. The lack of affordable, quality child care and housing for working families is affecting the health, safety and educational achievement of our residents. It also limits the productivity of our local businesses. That is why United Way is focusing its resources to find lasting solutions to this complex problem.

 

Why Child Care and Housing?

For six out of 10 families in Monterey County, these two expenses account for 50% or more of their monthly budget. These families are struggling. It's difficult for them to build assets and get ahead. By focusing on these two tough issues, United Way will help families achieve real, long term stability. And that benefits us all.

 

What other services does United Way provide?

 

211 Information and Referral Services support residents of Monterey County by connecting them to a wide variety of local health and human services. Dial 211 24/7 for personal referrals from a trained call specialist or search our database online at 211MontereyCounty.org. Residents can also text their zip code to 898-211 and be connected via two-way text to Call Specialists in both English and Spanish.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) provides free tax preparation services to low-to-moderate income households throughout Monterey County from February through the Tax Day.

Financial Literacy Workshops teach residents how to manage, budget, understand and repair credit, and educate them about affordable child care and other subsidy programs.

Volunteer Education And College Assistance Alliance helps students and families navigate the FAFSA application platform and complete their applications in time to make informed decisions about financial aid packages.

Stuff the Bus eases the financial burden on families, promotes learning, encourages self-esteem and helps children stay in school by providing new backpacks and school supplies to children who are living in homeless conditions or in great need.

Monterey County Preschool Service Corps program recruits AmeriCorps members to serve in preschool classrooms throughout Monterey County. Members provide individualized language & literacy tutoring to children who are learning below their peer level and qualify for subsidize care.

Family, Friends, and Neighbors (FFN) operate as home based child care initiative that develops a support network of trained care providers and early learning professionals. FFN caregivers provide low-cost, high quality child care to low-income households.

Spring Spruce Up upgrades play facilities at early care centers to ensure that learning environments are well equipped to support the social, emotional and academic development of students.

Summer Bridge is an accelerated preschool program that prepares children academically, socially and emotionally to succeed at kindergarten and beyond.

SingleCare is a prescription drug discount card lowers the price of eight out of 10 prescriptions for an average savings of 34% per prescription.

 

How are donations invested?

Donor contributions are used to support UWMC services as well as provide grants that support financial stability. In addition, United Way is taking the lead to change systems and help eliminate issues that prevent people from achieving financial stability.

 

How do I know that my money will be well-spent?

United Way Monterey County is governed by a local Board of Directors, community volunteers who oversee the financial and programmatic policies of the organization. We adhere to strict quality and transparency standards from our United Worldwide Network. Financial statements are reviewed monthly and an Independent Audit is performed annually. The Audit and Tax Return (Form 990) are available for public review on our financials page: unitedwaymcca.org/our-financials

 

Can I designate my donation to a particular agency?

Yes, designations are allowed to any 501(c) (3) organizations. To cover our costs, we deduct a 10% administrative fee, capped at a maximum of $100 per designation.

 

What are the guidelines if I donate to a particular agency?

One option to help a broad range of people is by giving to the United Way Community Fund. However, if you wish to give a portion or all of your gift to a favorite nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization, you may do so, just so long as the minimum donation per agency is $60.

 

How do I track my contributions for tax purposes?

You will receive a written “thank you” for your pledge. If you donate through payroll deduction, your W-2 form will reflect the exact amount of your contribution for the calendar year and can be used for itemizing deductions.

 

What strategies will UWMC implement to ensure success?

Our strategies for Impact involve advocacy, volunteer engagement, collaborative work and diverse partners such as public entities and business in addition to nonprofit community-based organizations. UWMC success will be measured by lives changed, through quantifiable improvement of community conditions.

 

How much does it cost to deliver these services?

A vast network of volunteers and the simplicity of payroll deduction keep the administrative expenses low. UWMC has an overhead expense of 30%. This figure includes both administrative (16%) and fundraising (14%) costs. Although the Better Business Bureau guideline is that up to 35% spent on overhead is acceptable, UWMC employs a far more conservative approach and consistently achieves a much lower expenditure.

 

What is United Way’s Mission?

Our mission is to engage the community and focus resources to improve lives in Monterey County. We work collaboratively with local businesses, government and nonprofits to tackle critical issues in the community. In any community, education, income and health are the building blocks for opportunity – individually and collectively.

  • Education is essential to getting and keeping a good job with a wage that can sustain a family and has health benefits.
  • An income that can cover today and save for tomorrow builds a family’s solid foundation.
  • Good health helps children stay on track at school and adults be productive at work.
  • Remove any of these building blocks and the other two topple. Build them all up and you have a cornerstone for individual and community prosperity.