United Way of Wilson County.......Living United Since 1959
What is the United Way of Wilson County?
In 1959, the United Fund of Wilson County was organized at a meeting in the Cherry Hotel. The goal
for this initial fundraising effort was set at
$79,568.30. Today the organization we now call United Way raises more than
one-million dollars annually to fund human service agencies for the people of
Far from being just a once-a-year presence, United Way is an integral part of
the community it serves. Each member agency's program is a part of a total
health, welfare, and character building program designed to meet the needs of
the community. Because of this fact, United Way has a responsibility to
consider the community program as a whole and each agency's relation to the
United Way helps people help themselves and one another by uniting the
community's volunteer fundraising efforts in a manner that;
builds a strong spirit of community
responds to needs that can't be met
through public expenditures;
is accountable to the giver and the
receiver for dollars and programs;
operates in a cost effective manner.
"To improve the quality of life in Wilson County."
Our mission is achieved through accountability, commitment, caring,
excellence, fairness, honesty and integrity.
runs the United Way?
Wilson County citizens run the United
Way. Just as agencies have a volunteer Board of Directors, so does United
Way. Paid staff (there are 3 full-time and 1 part-time) understand their
functions to support the volunteer leadership of United Way of
Wilson County. One important aspect of this organization is that all
decisions are made by local volunteers. Participation in state and
national United Way activities does not mean we are a chapter or a branch that
receives directives from "on high". Rather, the state and national groups work
for us, providing support for the local operation, right here in Wilson County.
What qualifies an agency
to become a United Way agency?
An organization must be not-for-profit
with 501(c)(3) status, offer a human service based on documented community need,
be governed by volunteers, and have sound financial management. When an agency
requests admittance to the United Way, the Finance Committee makes a
recommendation to the Board of Directors after reviewing the agency.
After an agency has been approved, the Budgets & Admissions Committee has the
responsibility of making a funding recommendation to the United Way Board of
Directors. Click here for more information.
How do agencies benefit by being United Way agencies?
Without having to concentrate primarily
on fundraising, United Way agencies can spend their energies doing what they do
best -- caring for people. Volunteers and paid staff are able to focus on
meeting needs rather than finding dollars. It becomes possible to plan
programs for the future, knowing that monthly income is secure.
Some agencies must depend on other sources of
income in addition to United Way's allocation. Dollars come from local, state,
and federal governments, memberships, grants and other fundraising projects.
Currently, the agencies can hold three supplemental fundraising events annually,
which must be approved by the Budgets & Admissions Committee/Finance Committee,
so that the integrity of "one community-wide campaign" can be maintained.
What does United Way
require of its agencies?
First, United Way requires that each
year, the agencies submit a proposed budget, along with a plan for programming
and an independent audit. A quarterly financial report is also turned in
to the United Way office. Accountability is important to the donors, the
recipients, and for the agency itself.
Secondly, agencies are required to provide United Way with a monthly report on
who is benefiting from their services (Names of individuals are not given to the United Way).
Many times these statistics alone compel a donor to give. The facts and
figures are the actual proof that United Way works in helping agencies help
people every day of the year. Human interest stories are gathered by
United Way and shared with the media. The good news of agencies helping
people is the foundation for all United Way promotion, publicity and education.
People helping people is the whole reason for United Way in the first place.
Finally, the United Way requires that agencies identify themselves as United Way
agencies. It is important that the connection between contributions through
United Way and services to people in need be made again and again.
Why does United Way work?
The commitment of United Way of
Wilson County volunteers is to respond to real community needs
with action. The promise of United Way is that citizens will be asked to
give only once a year, and donors are guaranteed their dollars will make a