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Frequently Asked Questions

Key Points:

  • 98% of the money raised stays here in OUR community. The other 2% goes to United Way Worldwide to help continue this mission across the globe. 

  • Thanks to dozens of volunteers, fundraising costs are extremely low and ensure that your donation is used where it is most needed. 

  • Your donation helps people who really need help! 

  • Any amount you give is appreciated and makes a difference in many lives! 

What is Capital Area United Way?

The Capital Area United Way is an independent, non-profit entity designed to help our community meet its health and human care needs. Through its community-wide fundraising efforts, the Capital Area United Way helps to support 35 programs and services offered through 15 local United Way funded agencies. Through a strong volunteer system, United Way brings together business, government, and committed people to address local health and human service needs in Hughes and Stanley counties. 

How long has our local United Way been in existence? 

In the fall of 1988, BankWest, Inc. hosted 36 business community and government leaders to learn more about the Sioux Empire United Way in Sioux Falls, SD. The Capital Area United Way was formed the following year, in 1989.    

How does our United Way fit into the big picture? Is Capital Area United Way connected to other United Ways? 

Every local United Way is independent from one another, and operates under the direction of a local board of directors.  Money raised during the annual campaign stays in each local community.  Each local board is responsible for giving donated dollars to the local agencies that can best meet the needs of each individual community.  Local United Ways belong to United Way Worldwide, which gives them access to services such as marketing assistance, community problem solving, staff training, and networking among other United Ways.  Membership dues total 2% of the total amount raised each year. 

What are the biggest advantages to giving to the Capital Area United Way? 

There are many advantages to having a single community-wide fundraising effort.  A portion of your donation is given to each of the United Way partner agencies that serve Hughes and Stanley counties.  This allows your donation to help many people in many different ways.  By coordinating fundraising efforts, each agency saves valuable time and money, allowing agencies to do what they do best - help people. 

How can I become a C.H.A.M.P. or Leadership giver? 

To be considered a C.H.A.M.P. donor, you must contribute at least one hour of your pay each month to United Way.  A minimum donation of $500 is needed to become a Leadership giver. 

Who decides where the money goes? 

When you contribute to Capital Area United Way, you can be assured that your donation is distributed wisely.  Local volunteers decide which agencies will receive funds from the annual United Way campaign.  This committee evaluates the needs of the community to determine which require the most urgent attention.  They spend time reviewing the results and finances of each agency programs we support.  Then they interview all agencies applying for United Way funding, identify which ones will best address the needs of the community and distribute funds accordingly. 

How can I be sure my donation is well spent? 

With one gift to United Way, you can support 17 local agencies and know that you are helping to solve some of our area’s most pressing concerns.  All programs and financial statements of Capital Area United Way partner agencies are reviewed annually to ensure that donated dollars are used where it is needed most. 

Can I give to a specific agency? 

You can designate that your donation be given only to the organization you choose.  Contributions can be designated to one or more of the 17 local agencies by writing the agency’s name(s) on the pledge form.  You may also designate to any nonprofit 501(C)3 organization.  A 15% processing fee will be deducted from your contribution for designations to non-partner agencies. 

How does United Way keep fundraising cost low? 

We are very proud that our United Way operates throughout the year on only 15 cents of every dollar raised.  Every year, dozens of people volunteer their time to the United Way campaign fund drive.  This allows the whole community to help 17 local agencies, and only one fundraising office is needed to ensure that donated dollars are used where they are most needed.  Local businesses also donate in-kind gifts that give United Way a significant savings. 

How can lower paid employees be expected to give? 

Even a small amount each week can give an employee a sense of belonging  to a larger community, of making a difference.  United Way’s fundraising campaign is successful because a lot of people unite and give what they can. 

Do United Way partner agencies charge fees for their services? 

Agencies funded by United Way strive to assure quality, affordable services to all people regardless of income level.  Many agencies charge fees based on a sliding scale. 

What is Capital Area United Way's Donor Privacy Policy? 

Click here to view our Donor Privacy Policy. 

Does the Capital Area United Way have a Code of Ethics Policy? 

Yes! Click here to view our Code of Ethics. 

Does the Capital Area United Way have a Diversity Policy? 

Yes. Click here to read our diversity policy. 

Does the Capital Area United Way have an Anti-Racism Policy? 

Yes. Click here to read our anti-racism policy. 

What is Capital Area United Way’s stance on pro-life or pro-choice? 

Our local leaders agree that the Capital Area United Way must be kept outside of the pro-choice / pro-life debate.  It is essential that local groups and individuals recognize it would be harmful to the total community if groups on either side of this issue would attempt to use United Way to further its viewpoint. 

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