FAQs

What is the United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties?
Who runs United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties?
What types of programs do the United Way dollars support?
What requirements must member agencies meet?
What will United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties do with the money raised?
Does the money stay in this community?
Can I designate a gift?
Are designated gifts subject to overhead?
How much of my gift actually reaches agency programs?
How many employees does United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties have?
How does United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties allocate money raised?
Why now, why the United Way?

What is the United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties?

A volunteer-driven nonprofit that brings together partner agencies, businesses, faith-based groups, government, and individuals to focus on community problems.  We serve donors and advocates, and volunteers with the organization and leadership they require to provide financial stability, education opportunities, and healthy lives to their communities.

Who runs United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties?

The organization is governed by a local volunteer board who oversee every aspect of the business operations. Through the actions of a small staff, the members of the board solicit ideas and build community goals, tie those goals to annual fundraising efforts, and engage donors and advocates to direct resources to help accomplish those goals. Top community leaders monitor financial operations and require that in-depth analysis and controls are used. This ensures that funds are prudently managed and fiscal responsibility exercised.

What types of programs do the United Way dollars support?

United Way invests its fiscal resources in programs that are tied to the goals driven by needs in the community through grants to partner organizations.

What requirements must community partners meet?

To become a community partner with the United Way, the organization must be tax-exempt, provide nonprofit health and human services that can demonstrate it is providing an essential service to the local community. It must also be governed by an elected, volunteer managing board and guided by a trained, professional staff. Additionally, if required by the IRS, it must have an annual, independent financial audit. Partners are also asked to limit their fundraising activities so they do not conflict with the annual United Way effort.

What will United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties do with the money raised?

United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties raises money for the Community Care Fund. This fund is then provides grant funding to goal-based programs that are directed to attainment of the community needs. Organizations managing the funded programs are required to submit quarterly reports the contain specific, measureable, attainable, relevant, and time-based data that prove to donors that the received grant funds are efficiently and effectively invested to give the greatest return on investment. The community-based goals are determined in the three impact areas:

CHILDREN AND EDUCATION
HEALTH AND PREVENTION
FINANCIAL STABILITY AND DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

Chances are that some of your employees, neighbors, friends, or family have benefited either directly or indirectly from one or more of these programs.

Does the money stay in this community?

With the exception of funds specifically designated by the donor to non-profit organizations outside of our community and the incidental membership fees to the United Way of Florida and United Way Worldwide, all raised funds stay in the local community.

Can I designate a gift?

Yes. Donors may designate all or a portion of their gift to a specific non-profit organization, either community partner or external agency. While investment in charity is a personal decision and some may value designating their funds, it is important to remember that the greatest return on investment in the United Way occurs when donor elects to give to the Community Care Fund.

Are designated gifts subject to overhead?

Yes, by Board decision, all gifts are subject to administrative fees (from 9 percent for a community partner to 14 percent for a non-local non-profit organization).

How much of my gift actually reaches community programs?

The United Way strives to ensure the maximum investment of raised dollars in the programs that impact the community and holds its administrative expenses to less than 20 cents per dollar..

How many employees does United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties have?

United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties has six full time and up to two part time staff members who are paid on average well below the median income for our local area.

How does United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties allocate money raised?

A Community Impact team meets annually with service providers, healthcare and education providers, and other interested parties to discuss and reach consensus on the goals that should drive the United Way’s focus for the coming year.  After the fundraising cycle ends, grant applications are submitted by community partners and evaluated by an independent volunteer-based Community Investment group that, among other activities, visits each of the submitting community partners to validate the information in the grant application to determine the worthiness of the applicant’s program in meeting the goals established by the Community Impact team.  After all program applications are reviewed, the investment team submits its recommendations for funding to the United Way Board of Directors, through the CEO.  The Board considers this information and ultimately approves program grant funding. This process is repeated on an annual basis.

Why now, why the United Way?

Owing to current economic issues, the programs our partners provide to our community are more critical than ever. We act in coordination with our partners to provide them with the much-needed efficiency of a payroll giving campaign at places of work in order to secure funding for these crucial programs.

United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties is also in a position to provide leadership and collaboration around the big issues and concerns of our community. We are taking this leadership role on in the areas of children & education, financial stability & disaster preparedness and health & prevention.  We partner with other organizations and faith-based groups on volunteer activities such as Days of Caring, Feed the Need, the Veteran’s Stand Down