Frequently Asked Questions
Is United Way of Lake County a national or local organization?
United Way of Lake County is a local, independent non-profit organization. This is the beauty of United Way neighbors helping neighbors at the local level. Although each of the more than 1,300 United Ways throughout our country operates independently, they each have to pay a small membership fee to United Way of America. In exchange, United Way of America ensures fiscal responsibility and consistent quality standards for all member organizations.
Although I live in Lake County, I make a donation to United Way through my workplace, which is in located in another county (downtown Cleveland, to be exact). How can I be sure that my donation benefits my home community of Lake County?
That's a great question. Simply put, If your workplace is located outside of Lake County and your employer runs a United Way fundraising campaign, please note the following:
1) The ONLY way to ensure your gift benefits your home community is to specify United Way LAKE COUNTY.
2) Write or type United Way LAKE COUNTY on your pledge form.
3) If you don't see a place to specify this designation, ask your workplace administrator. Don't be shy.
4) If you are unsure, you can also make a direct donation online to us by clicking here or by texting the word LAKE to 41444.
How many Lake County agencies and programs are funded by my donation?
In Lake County alone, your donation will help fund over 60 programs managed by over 40 different agencies/organizations.
Would it be better to give my charitable donation directly to an agency?
As part of the United Way campaign, you can choose to help by designating a specific 501© (3) Health & Human Services Agency. If your focus is on the whole community, tackling new and emerging critical issues and funding programs that solve community-wide problems, then a gift directly to United Way of Lake County is more appropriate. Any gift donated to UWLC is guaranteed to go directly to a funded program here in Lake County.
How does United Way of Lake County choose which programs to fund?
Solution Panels, comprised of community volunteers who meet monthly to study the on-going and emerging critical needs in Lake County in the areas of affordable housing and basic needs, children and families, health and wellness and senior citizens. These Solution Panels produce a “road map” for funding priorities. The panels examine what the current issues are, where attention is needed, and what are the gaps, they identify funding priorities and have the ability to “incubate” new program concepts.
What does your Guidestar Gold Star Rating Mean? (How do I know I can entrust my donation to you?)
Guidestar is the world's largest source of information on non-profit organizations. At United Way of Lake County, we are committed to accountability and transparency and we are proud to merit a Gold Star rating from Guidestar. We share common goals related to understanding the needs of the community, identifying best practices, and collaborating to obtain results and increase our long term impact in the community.
How are funds allocated?
Community volunteers meet monthly to study the specific funding requests from each program throughout five areas; basic needs, children and families, seniors, health counseling, and health services. The E&I Panels carefully assess how effectively and efficiently agencies are using United Way funding. Programs that address high priority needs and demonstrate measurable impact are given preference in funding, while programs not designed to meet high priority needs or ones that are inefficient and provide little impact may not be funded at all.
What is the “Community Needs Assessment”?
In 2013, United Way of Lake County initiated a Community Wide Needs Assessment to further explore where the growing and critical needs are in our community and what UWLC can do to meet those needs. United Way formed a community-based Advisory Committee to guide an effort to collect available data from agencies, the government and other services. The ultimate goal is to review all collected data, find “gaps in services”, and thus provide the foundation for community dialogue on funding and service delivery.
Where can I turn to find help for a specific question or problem?
Dial 2-1-1. This help hotline operates 24-hours/7-day a week and serves as an information referral service for our community. When you don’t know where to turn for advice or help, dial 2-1-1.
I cannot afford to give, how can I still get engaged and involved with United Way of Lake County?
Volunteers are the backbone of the United Way organization. Volunteer for any of our many events throughout the year; Campaign Kick-off, Feed Lake County, Super Raffle, Celebrity Server, Day of Caring, etc. Become a volunteer on either a Solution Panel or an E&I Panel, or perhaps you would like to volunteer directly with a funded program through one of our 49 partner agencies. We have also started a Women’s Leadership Initiative as well as a Young Leaders of Lake County group.
Where can I learn more about United Way of Lake County?