Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


What does United Way do?

  • United Way of Greater Cincinnati develops, supports and strengthens the social systems that improve lives in Greater Cincinnati communities. We bring together people and resources to help all people thrive.

What is United Way of Greater Cincinnati's service area?

  • We serve 10 counties in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana with a population of roughly 1.8 million people. Our counties include:
    • Hamilton, Brown and Clermont counties and the Middletown/Monroe/Trenton areas in Butler County in Ohio
    • Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton counties in Northern Kentucky
    • Dearborn and Ohio counties in Southeast Indiana.

Who oversees United Way of Greater Cincinnati?

  • United Way is a volunteer-led organization. We are governed by a local Board of Directors who represent every sector and region served.
  • The Board develops strategic direction, sets policies and ensures capable staffing. A staff team of 90 works hand-in-hand with the board and dozens of other leadership and community volunteers.

How is our United Way connected with others?

  • United Way of Greater Cincinnati is an independent and self-governing member of the United Way Worldwide network.
  • We meet annual membership requirements and receive benefits such as training, national advertising and public policy support, and the ability to draw on "best practices" of United Ways throughout the country.

How can I get help for myself or someone I know?

  • Simply call 2-1-1, a free, confidential non-emergency hotline that will connect you to health and human services. United Way 211 is available 24/7/365 in more than 150 languages.
  • Our call specialists can connect you with important community services, such as child care, flu-shot information, employment assistance, volunteer opportunities, counseling, food, shelter and more.


Why should I give to United Way?

  • United is the way to sustainable change. We provide relief for families in crisis, support families as they establish stronger foundations and revitalize systems of support for long-term economic resiliency.
  • Your gift is combined with thousands of others and invested in many collaborative initiatives and programs essential to achieving the goal of helping all families thrive.
  • United Way has more than 100 years of experience with bringing together social service agencies, governments, businesses, donors and more to tackle ingrained, persistent, community-wide problems.

How can I give?

  • You can donate online at any time or make a gift during your company’s annual United Way campaign.
  • Find other ways you can give.

How much of my donation goes to administrative costs?

  • For every $1 donated, 87 cents goes back into the community – a ratio that exceeds the Better Business Bureau guidelines.
  • Administrative costs empower a broad team of experts who ensure effective and efficient United Way operations that support corporate relationships, influence public policy and convene resources to develop solutions to our community’s most systemic problems.

Why should I give to United Way instead of directly to an agency or group?

  • United Way brings together the collective power of resources for solving deep-rooted problems to achieve results no one partner can achieve on its own.
  • Some work, we can only do together – as a community. With one gift to United Way, you support a variety of programs and initiatives making an impact in our community
  • If you’re passionate about a specific cause, talk with us about opportunities to target your gift to one of our impact areas – education, income, health or basic needs.
  • When your gift is combined with thousands of other generous individuals, we are able to invest substantially in projects that make meaningful change.

What if I want to make a contribution to a specific nonprofit?

  • Economy of scale helps us effectively invest in hundreds of area programs and initiatives. If you have a special interest in one of our impact areas – education, income, health or basic needs – you may designate your gift to that cause on your pledge form.
  • If there is a specific initiative or agency partner you’d like to support – Free Tax Prep, Success by 6, Stable Families, Black Empowerment Work or 211 - you can also designate all or a portion of your gift.

Are United Way donations tax-deductible?

  • United Way of Greater Cincinnati is a federally registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by an individual’s or corporation’s circumstances. Those contributing through payroll deduction in their workplace should keep a copy of their e-pledge receipt or signed pledge card and maintain their last pay stub of the tax year or Form W-2 from their employer that summarizes the amount withheld for United Way.

What if I feel pressured to give?

  • Neither United Way nor its volunteers believe people should be forced to give. We discourage coercion in any form. Pressure defeats the very idea of voluntary giving. Any semblance of pressure (whether real, implied or perceived) is contradictory to our operating standards.
  • If you feel you have been pressured to give in a workplace campaign, please contact your Employee Engagement Leader to express your concern or contact us.


What organizations does United Way support?

  • Through our current multi-year investment model, United Way has 137 agency partners funded to deliver 206 programs in our region.
  • United Way provides additional grants throughout the year for innovative new community impact opportunities.
  • United Way also supports grassroots, neighborhood-based, faith-based and community-based partners that support people where they live, work and worship.
  • United Way leads several initiatives that support our community through our 211 helpline, Free Tax Prep, Success by 6 and Stable Families.

Why does United Way support a system of programs instead of a cause?

  • United Way invests in a nonprofit system of support to help strengthen the financial foundations of families. Services and solutions focus on quality education, financial stability, health and basic needs, which we believe are the building blocks to financial sustainability. Like the challenges people face, we view these areas as interconnected, with no one single solution.
  • We invest in organizations to help them make the biggest impact possible – both independently and in partnership with other organizations.
  • Beyond financial support, United Way engages with community partners to drive innovation, build capacity and strengthen systems for long-term changes.

How does United Way decide what programs to fund?

  • United Way volunteer leadership, along with UWGC staff and our Board of Directors, make funding decisions based on impact, alignment and accountability. Funding requirements and eligibility are detailed in each request for proposal process.
  • Multi-year funding is contingent upon the partner’s effective delivery of services on an ongoing basis.

How do I know that United Way partners use the funds responsibly?

  • United Way is audited each year by an independent accounting firm to ensure we are in compliance with generally accepted accounting procedures, regulations and laws.
  • We are a long-standing member of the Better Business Bureau.
  • As part of our partnership agreements, United Way outlines fiscal accountability standards for each funded agency based on industry best practices.

What does United Way support beyond its initiatives and partner agencies?

  • In addition to supporting agency partners and a number of strategic initiatives and collaborations, United Way of Greater Cincinnati:
    • Helps policymakers, community leaders and service providers identify the health, social and economic issues facing our region through the Community Research Collaborative.
    • Develops public sector support for comprehensive solutions through public policy advocacy and policy change.
    • Provides opportunities for individuals and groups looking to make a difference through United Way Volunteer Connection.
    • Collaborates with grassroots, community-based and faith-based organizations to tackle emerging community problems.

How can my nonprofit apply for United Way funding?

  • There are many ways to be engaged in United Way’s community solutions. If you’d like to learn more about these opportunities, as well as upcoming funding opportunities, contact our Community Impact team or visit our For Nonprofits section.

If you need additional information, please email us at

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