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-based organization, that brings individuals and groups together in a community-wide effort to help people. It is a local nonprofit organization that raises funds through a single, annual campaign to help a wide variety of local health and human service organizations in Okaloosa and Walton Counties.

Who runs United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties?

It is directed by local volunteers who oversee every aspect of the organization. They plan the annual fundraising effort, organize the campaign, collect contributions and determine how dollars raised should be distributed to member agencies. Top community leaders monitor financial operations and require that indepth analysis and controls are used. This ensures that funds are prudently managed and fiscal responsibility exercised. In addition, the organization is operated by a group of trained, professional staff.

What types of programs do the United Way dollars support?

United Way dollars help member agencies provide a wide variety of programs – affordable childcare for working parents, recreational and character-building programs for youth, emergency assistance and shelter for homeless families, counseling for families in crisis, substance abuse treatement and prevention, training for individuals who have mental or physical disabilities, care for seniors. Take a look at a listing of our current Partner Agencies.

What requirements must member agencies meet?

An agency must be a tax-exempt, nonprofit health and human service organization that can demonstrate it is providing an essential service to the county area. It must also be governed by an elected, volunteer managing board and guided by a trained, professional staff. Additionally, it must have an annual, independent financial audit. Agencies are also asked to limit their fundraising activities so they don’t 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 directed to the most critical needs in Okaloosa and Walton County. This is then reviewed on an annual basis. The three impact areas currently being focused on are:

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 the programs provided by one of our partner agencies. They may receive daycare assistance from Okaloosa-Walton Child Care Services, Inc., or may have called 2-1-1 to find services for a neighbor in need.

Does the money stay in this community?

The only money that leaves our local community are funds that a donor designates to a non-profit outside of our community and 1.2% fee sent to the United Way of Florida and United Way of America for dues. Membership allows the use of the United Way logo, NFL advertising promotions, market research, training for profesional staff and volunteers, and monitoring of legislative issues on a national basis.

Can I designate a gift?

Yes. Contributors may designate all or a portion of their gift to a specific member agency or other Untied Way. When a contribution is designated, the gift is limited to help only the agencies receiving that designation, instead of all the agencies the United Way supports.

Are designated gifts subject to overhead?

Yes, by Board decision, all gifts are subject to administrative fees.

How much of my gift actually reaches agency programs?

Of every dollar raised, less than 15.7 cents is used for administrative expenses, fundraising costs, and national and state dues. The rest is divided among funded agencies.

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. We rely heavily on volunteers to accomplish our mission. Volunteers put in countless hours as our Board of Directors, serving on committees, participating in community events with our member agencies, planning events and doing general office work.

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

A Fund Dirstribution Committee visits each of the member agencies then meets to review each agency’s application for funds and share the findings from their visit. The application includes program objectives and outcomes, financial reports, fundraising sources, agency management, agency fiscal management and effectiveness of services delivered. In addition, each agency is audited by the United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties President and key members of the Board of Directors. The Fund Distribution Committee makes a recommendation on how much to allocate to each agency visited to the President and members of the Board, who then use this information and the results of their own audit to make the final decision on the allocations. This is done on an annual basis.

Why now, why the United Way?

Because of current economic issues, the services our partner agencies provide to our communities are more critical than ever. We act in coordination with our agencies to provide them with the much-needed efficiency of a payroll giving campaign at places of work in order to off-load some of the burden of fund raising so they can continue to focus more of their time and energy on providing those services.

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, and not just through fund raising. We coordinate volunteer activities, such as the Day of Caring.