About United Way

How is United Way different from other nonprofit organizations?

United Way of Manatee County’s mission is to help make Manatee County a community where everyone can thrive. To do this, we focus our investments on the building blocks of our lives and community – education, income and health. What makes us different from other nonprofits focused on these issues is how we work. We are the ONLY nonprofit that brings together people and resources from every sector – volunteers, advocates and donors; partner agencies, counties and governments to develop and deliver new solutions.

How is United Way structured?

Each of the 1,300+ United Ways in the nation is autonomous and supported by local volunteers. United Way Worldwide, headquartered in Virginia, is the umbrella organization. In Manatee County, we have about 11 staff members working across the County. Volunteer leaders from all walks of life assist with United Way operations, from fundraising to community investments to financial management.

About Giving to United Way

Why should I give to the United Way Impact Fund if I normally give directly to a nonprofit organization?

When you give to United Way, you have choices. You can choose to give to United Way’s Impact Fund or to specific nonprofits. When you direct your dollars to the United Way Impact Fund, you are enabling us to provide the best value for your dollars and the biggest impact on community well-being.

United Way invests Impact Fund dollars in tackling the critical problems that stand between us and a better quality of life. United Way brings together dozens of nonprofits to identify collaborative solutions that lead to positive outcomes for the community, like self-sufficiency and access to healthcare for all individuals and families, and academic achievement for all children.

Trained community volunteers guide United Way Impact Fund investment decisions, and investments are directed toward nonprofits with proven effectiveness in creating sustainable and measurable contributions to community well-being.

United Way compounds the power of its Impact Fund investments with the collective clout of volunteers and advocates as well as county and state governments.

Where does the money go?

United Way volunteers invest your Impact Fund contributions in local programs that strengthen our community. Those programs include after-school and mentoring activities that ensure youth are successful in learning, job and life skills training to make people employment-ready, help for people with immediate needs and more.

Can I give specifically to my favorite issue area within the United Way Impact Fund?

United Way is working to advance the common good by focusing on education, income and health. These are the building blocks for a good quality of life — a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family through retirement and good health. Every donor has the option to designate to one or a combination of these areas.

Our employees and their families are struggling. How can we ask them to give?

Time and again, some of the most generous givers are those who themselves have struggled and needed a helping hand from our community. Everyone should be given an opportunity to express caring through charitable giving, to enjoy the emotional reward that comes from knowing he or she has helped someone else — a homeless mother helped with child care so she can seek employment, a senior able to stay in his home and remain independent, or a family helped to remain financially stable with job training for advancement. Helping our community is a shared responsibility and makes good business sense. Our research shows that 7 out of 10 people in a workplace campaign say, “My company’s support of United Way makes me feel good about my company.”

About the United Way Investment Process

How was the investment process conducted this year?

Through the United Way Impact Fund, we invest in the smartest ideas and solutions that are making significant long-term changes to our communities. Guided by a group of trained community investment volunteers, the United Way Impact Fund allocates money to successful nonprofit organizations and community programs meeting goals in United Way’s three key areas of education, income and health. Volunteers thoroughly review applications submitted for grants in this competitive process to choose the best investment opportunities that can make the largest impact.

Why has United Way adapted this strategy?

By aligning our grants to partner organizations with specific goals and targets in our three key areas of education, income, and health, United Way is now able to better track success and ensure your dollars are well leveraged. We focus on what works and are ready and nimble to invest in new innovative ideas as they arise because we believe these approaches will get us closer to being the Manatee County we all envision. For more information about United Way’s investment process, please visit us online at uwmanatee.org.

About United Way Community Partners

How does an organization apply to receive funding from United Way?

United Way invites organizations that can demonstrate measurable results and are aligned with our priorities to obtain an application by going to uwmanatee.org and then clicking on “For Nonprofits”. When new funding becomes available, we announce funding opportunities through an email to interested agencies in our database.

Leadership Giving

Who is considered a Leadership Giver?

Anyone who gives a gift of $500 or more annually to United Way is considered a Leadership Giver.

What is the Tocqueville Society

The Tocqueville Society is United Way’s national leadership giving and recognition club designed to foster, promote, and recognize the vital importance of personal giving at an exceptional level ($10,000+). All Society members are recognized in a national Alexis de Tocqueville registry which is printed and distributed annually.

The Society is named for whom?

The Society honors a French aristocrat, Alexis de Tocqueville, who wrote about his admiration of the American spirit of voluntary association and voluntary effort for the common goal.