Commonly Asked Questions

Why should I give through United Way?

When you give through UWTC you become a part of the solution: you help people meet immediate, basic needs while empowering lasting change. Your gift strengthens the three building blocks of life: education, income, and health. We know that kids can’t learn when their teeth ache from cavities, when they’re hungry, or when they have to move a lot. By building up all three blocks we are creating a strong foundation for collective success today and in the future.

Additional benefits include:

  • Convenience of payroll deduction
  • Efficiency of one annual pledge
  • Recognition opportunities within a large community-wide campaign
  • Opportunities for participation in leadership giving and networking
  • Confidence in giving to a trusted community based organization of over 90 years.

What percent of my gift supports education, income, and health programs?

Corporate Cornerstone Partners’ gifts and UWTC’s earned income cover the administrative and operating costs. This enables 100% of donors’ gifts to UWTC’s Community Care Fund, special initiatives, partner organizations, or another United Way to directly benefit those programs and services. All other designations are charged a nominal processing fee, not to exceed 2% of the total gift amount.


What is the Community Care Fund?

The Community Care Fund supports essential education, income, and health services in our community. These dollars help achieve the following outcomes:

  • Children and youth succeed in school, work, and life.
  • Individuals and families have improved financial stability and self-sufficiency.
  • Children, seniors and adults have improved physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

All Community Care Fund dollars support services in Tompkins County. Grants are awarded by community volunteers to UWTC partner and qualifying organizations after a review of the program’s design, financials, outcomes and performance. A complete list is available at here.

Other non-profit health and human service organizations in Tompkins County may receive funding from UWTC through special initiatives and student engagement.


What are UWTC’s Special Initiatives?

WTC special initiatives help solve specific community-wide challenges identified through ongoing examination of community needs. Donors can designate gifts to UWTC special initiatives on the pledge card.

  • The Urgent Rx Prescription Program  provides free and essential prescriptions to people without health insurance that have an urgent health need.  For more than ten years the program has provided 26,500 prescriptions through vouchers at a cost of $510,904. Average usage by recipients was 1.9 times or less than 2 times.  Urgent Rx recipients receive information on how to access free or low-cost health insurance program and on prescription assistance for long-term needs. They also receive a Tompkins County Prescription Drug Card.

  • Hunger & Food Security Fund helps all people have access to an adequate supply of nutritious food by supporting local food programs including pantries and gardens. In 2013-14, $66,741 was distributed.

  • Student Engagement initiatives empower school and college aged youth to develop leadership skills and learn the value of civic engagement. Students identify and address community needs through grant-making, volunteering, fundraising and social ventures. In 2013-14, $43,800 was awarded to community initiatives through student engagement programs.

  • Financial Stability Fund supports initiatives that help at-risk or independently living young adults gain job skills, better manage their finances, and become more financially stable and self-sufficient.

  • Volunteer Center connects individuals, groups, and businesses with volunteer opportunities at local non-profits 365 days a year at and during the annual Day of Caring and Day of Action. On average over 100 needs are listed by over 140 local nonprofits on Get Connected.


Can I direct or exclude my gift to a specific organization?

Yes, you can designate your gift to any UWTC partner organization or non-member 501(c)(3) health and human service agency. UWTC Partner Organizations receive their designations in addition to grants awarded from UWTC. A donor may choose to exclude a particular UWTC Partner Organization by noting that on the pledge card. UWTC honors its donors’ wishes.


I designated to a specific organization last year and I never received a confirmation letter.

UWTC tracks all designations to assure that gifts reach the selected organization. Donor name and contact information is not provided to the designated agency unless the donor checks the box on their pledge card giving UWTC permission to share this information.


I live in another county. Is it possible to give all or part of my donation to the county where I live?

Yes, if you choose to designate your gift to a different United Way or non-profit outside of Tompkins County you may indicate this on your pledge. The United Way you designate will receive 100% of your gift; all other designations to agencies outside of Tompkins County are charged a nominal processing fee, not to exceed 2% of the total gift amount. Please note that if you donate through payroll deduction, your pay stub may indicate United Way of Tompkins County; however, the donations are sent to the county and/or non-profit you specified on your donation form. 


How else can I make a difference?



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