FAQ’s

ANSWERS TO FREQUENT QUESTIONS

Just what does United Way do?

  • Matagorda County United Way is a locally incorporated, non-profit organization that is the largest non-governmental source of funds for health and human services in our community. United Way contributions support health and human service agencies and programs addressing community problems. This single community-wide campaign is the most organized, efficient, and accountable system for investing in our community.  Our in-house HELPLINE is a free information and referral service available to all individuals. Through the HELPLINE service we are able to manage individual cases to help assist individuals with a wide range of services.

Where does my money go?

  • Your gift doesn’t stay at Matagorda County United Way. It supports local health and human service agencies. Matagorda County United Way’s low overhead costs mean more of your dollars go to the people you want to help. A list of the Agencies we are funding in 2016 can be found on our Partner Agencies Page.

Who manages Matagorda County United Way?

  • Matagorda County United Way is locally incorporated, autonomous organization governed by a local volunteer board of directors.  Policies, activities, procedures, and agencies we support are determined right here at home.
  • The community volunteers who lead Matagorda County United Way come from all walks of life and reflect the cultural diversity of our area.   Matagorda County United Way’s daily operations are handled by a small but knowledgeable professional staff which works closely with volunteers at all levels.

Is giving to United Way voluntary?

  • Yes!  Giving to Matagorda County United Way is strictly voluntary. United Way has a written policy about voluntary giving.  Education about how Matagorda County United Way agencies help is the best way to encourage contributions.

There are a few agencies I’ve never heard of?

  • Your donations are directed to real needs, not favorite agencies, Matagorda County United Way volunteers carefully screen and decide which programs to fund based on research of needs in the community, and they monitor their services.

How are United Way agencies accountable to United Way donors?

  • Every Matagorda County United Way agency must meet high standards of quality and efficiency.  Experienced community volunteers oversee the dollar allocations to all agencies.

Why not just give a donation directly to the agencies?

  • Contributing through Matagorda County United Way guarantees agencies support they can rely on and plan for, rather than depending on sporadic contributions.  Matagorda County United Way’s community-based oversight assures that the charities you support through Matagorda County United Way operate efficiently and effectively.  Giving through the Matagorda County United Way reduces costly and time-consuming fund-raising efforts for the agencies, so their time can be spent helping others. Local financial support for community agencies through the Matagorda County United Way can then be used as matching funds,  often required for much sought after grants, which bring millions of additional dollars back into our community every year.

Don’t some agencies receive government funding?

  • Many agencies do receive governmental support.  In fact, Matagorda County United Way funding often allows agencies to leverage available government funds to maximize their resources. However, shrinking government dollars mean privately funded institutions like Matagorda County United Way are more important than ever.

Why do agencies still have fundraisers when they are funded by United Way?

  • As the needs of the community continue to increase,  so do the financial needs of our agencies.  Supplemental fund-raising activities are allowed as long as these activities do not require employee solicitations.

How is United Way accountable?

  • Matagorda County United Way’s own operating budget is audited by an independent accounting firm and is carefully scrutinized by a team of local community volunteers.  Volunteers help raise and distribute the money.

I never use agency services, so why should I give?

  • You never know when you, a member of your family, or a neighbor may need a United Way service.  Job loss, loss of a loved one, illness, disabilities, family problems, mental disorders, and the problems of growing up and growing old know no boundaries. Your gift helps ensure that Matagorda County United Way services are available when they’re needed.  Anyone who has been involved in Scouting or taken a Red Cross first aid, swimming, or lifeguarding course has been served by a United Way agency.  Remember, an economically stable community with healthy, well educated citizens attracts new business and benefits all of us.

 What if my spouse already gives to the United Way?

  • Each and every contribution is important and makes a difference. Only by each person giving can Matagorda County United Way help meet the community’s many needs.

Why do United Way agencies charge fees?

  • Because the extent of Matagorda County United Way agency services is so great, United Way funds provide only a portion of the money agencies need to provide services.  Many United Way agencies charge fees so they can help more people and some programs have no fees.

Can I specify which United Way agency receives my pledge?

  • Yes!  You may designate to any non-profit social service organization as long as they are recognized by the IRS as a 501 (c) (3), which is the IRS code for a non-profit charitable organization.

Does United Way spend a lot of money on advertising and meals?

  • No!  Matagorda County United Way often receives free space in newspapers, and on TV and radio.  Companies also sponsor ads for Matagorda County United Way and serve as sponsors for special events and meetings.