If the United Way raises funds for so many agencies, why do I still receive requests for money?

The United Way does not provide 100 per cent funding for any one program or to any one member agency. Allowing for a healthy variety of supporters ensures sustainability and viability of all United Way funded programs and services. It also provides an opportunity for multiple stakeholders to give input into multi-dimensional issues.

My spouse already donates at work, why should I give?

You can combine your donations for more favourable tax credits and recognition. Through payroll deduction, one smaller gift added to another equals an effortless way to give a larger gift.

What exactly does the United Way do?

The United Way raises funds through our annual Community Campaign to support charitable organizations providing social benefit in Wood Buffalo. We also work on building capacity and strength in the broader social profit sector.

I never have to use the United Way or any agency programs, what’s in it for me?

Many of us are only a pay cheque or two away from needing help. Your gift ensures that you and those you care about will have support when they need it most. Your gift to the United Way is a sound investment in the quality of life in your community. United Way funded programs reach into all sectors of our society, and include vital services such as mental health aid, search and rescue recovery and grief and bereavement support.

How are investment decisions made? Does United Way ever discontinue funding to an agency or program?

Funding decisions are made by our Community Investment Committee, a group of passionate volunteers who review applications. Agencies have strict application requirements including audited financial statements, detailed program information, and a clear demonstration of how the agency is managed and governed. When agencies do not meet the application requirements, or if their programming changes to outside the scope of our funding criteria, funding can and does get discontinued. Agencies can always reapply in future years.

When will I get a tax receipt for my donation?

If your donation is set up through payroll deduction, your contribution will be on your T4 in the following year. Whether you give by cash, cheque, or credit card, your tax receipt will be mailed to your home address by February 28th of the following year. Please ensure you complete the home address section of the pledge form if donating by cheque, cash or credit card as this information is required by CRA regulations.

Am I able to choose where my donation goes?

When you donate to the United Way Community Fund, our Community Investment Committee ensures your gift is invested where it has the greatest impact in the community. This group of volunteers has done the necessary research so you know your donation is going where it is needed the most. However, the United Way sincerely believes that it is your right to choose where your contribution goes. You may take advantage of the Donor Choice option on your pledge card to designate a portion of your donation to an agency.

When will the agency/agencies receive my designated donation?

Your donation to the agencies that you have designated will be sent in the following year.

I feel pressured to give and I am not sure what to do.

The United Way of Fort McMurray values all donations and we realize giving is a family decision. We feel that no one should feel pressured to give. Your decision to give is your choice and we will provide you with adequate information so that you are able to make an informed decision.

Can I give something other than money?

The United Way Fort McMurray relies on the generous contributions of community members and our volunteer network every year to keep our costs as low as possible. Some of this contribution comes in the form of in-kind donations, such as equipment donated to aid in office operations or services provided on a pro-bono basis. Our Days of Caring program offer a menu of specific agency needs that require manpower, skills and extra resources.

How much of my donation goes to administration and fundraising costs?

While it varies slightly from year to year, the United Way strives to keep administrative and fundraising costs as low as possible. In 2013, 11 percent of our budget went to these expenses with 86 percent going to agency and program funding.

I saw an email that said by supporting the local United Way Community Campaign, that I am helping to pay a CEO’s salary that is off the charts. Is that true?

No. The email that circulates every year references the CEO of United Way Worldwide, based in the United States. All salaries at the United Way of Fort McMurray, including senior management, are benchmarked against other Canadian social profit organizations of similar size and scope. Even then, like most local social profit organizations, United Way of Fort McMurray struggles with attraction and retention issues related to the cost of living in Wood Buffalo.