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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have additional questions not addressed below, please contact United Way of Southeast Alaska at (907) 463-5530 or e-mail staff@unitedwayseak.org.

What is the relationship between United Way of America and United Way of Southeast Alaska?
United Way of Southeast Alaska is a local autonomous organization led by a volunteer board of directors.  United Way Worldwide is a completely separate organization that provides training, research data, items with the United Way logo, and other services that are more cost-effective to produce on a national scale.  United Way Worldwide has no role in determining how funds raised locally are invested.

What does United Way of Southeast Alaska do?

United Way of Southeast Alaska is in the unique position to act as a neutral hub, partnering with government, individuals, businesses and the nonprofit sector to address community-wide issues. We link donors to issues they care about. We partner with several health and social service agencies to achieve significant community impact.

Why should I give to United Way of Southeast Alaska?
United Way of Southeast Alaska and our partner agencies are making a difference every day in the lives of children, individuals, and families in Southeast Alaska.  We all win when a child succeeds in school, when families are financially stable, and when people have good health.

Does United Way of Southeast Alaska address particular needs?

Yes.  United Way of Southeast Alaska focuses our partnership and fundraising efforts on programs that help nurture children and youth, care for the elderly and people with special needs, strengthen families and individuals, and meet the basic needs of people in crisis.

When I give to United Way of Southeast Alaska, may I choose were my money goes?
Yes.  Our pledge form gives you the option to direct your gift to the United Way of Southeast Alaska, to a specific non-profit organization, or to your local community in Southeast Alaska.

Does my donation stay in Southeast Alaska?
Yes.  Whether you designate your donation to United Way of Southeast Alaska or one of our partner agencies, 99% of the donation stays here in Southeast Alaska.

How can I be sure my pledge to United Way of Southeast Alaska is followed?
We certify the integrity of our operations through annual internal and external audits.

How does United Way of Southeast Alaska ensure financial integrity?

To maintain fiscal responsibility, United Way of Southeast Alaska staff operations are under the oversight of a board of directors.  All accounts are reconciled monthly and reviewed by the Board of Directors, Finance Committee.  An independent audit is conducted annually.

Is my contribution to United Way of Southeast Alaska tax deductible?
For taxpayers who itemize their deductions, 100% of their charitable contribution is deductible as long as deductions do not exceed 50% of their adjusted gross income. Contact the Internal Revenue Service, your accountant or other financial advisors for further information.

What are the administrative costs of United Way of Southeast Alaska?
United Way of Southeast Alaska keeps administrative costs low, investing the majority of funds raised directly to regional partner agencies that support individuals and families.  Only 15% of your donation covers United Way of Southeast Alaska’s administrative and fundraising expenses.  The national standard for non-profit overhead is 25% while the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance encourages non-profit organizations to keep their operating costs below 35%.

Why should I give to United Way of Southeast Alaska when I can give directly to an agency?

Of course, any gift that supports human services in Southeast Alaska is welcome. When you give to United Way, you do more than support an individual agency. You support a community-wide effort to understand and address our region's larger system of human service needs. You support efforts to ensure effective nonprofit management practices. You support partnerships that magnify the impact of your gift. You support the idea that we can accomplish far more together than we can alone. Thank You!

Why do some agencies raise funds when they are already funded by United Way of Southeast Alaska?
Agency budgets exceed the income available from United Way of Southeast Alaska.  You can help us identify and address agencies' most critical funding needs by giving directly to the United Way. In addition, we invite your suggestions and insight. Let us know where you believe our resources will have the most significant community impact.

Why aren't all non-profit agencies partners with United Way of Southeast Alaska?
United Way is interested in partnering with health and social service agencies in Southeast Alaska that address our four key areas of care, and that meet our standards for effective management. Periodically agencies are encouraged to apply for membership status; they must meet the United Way of Southeast Alaska criteria.

Does United Way of Southeast Alaska fund agencies with religious affiliations?
Some of our agencies have religious origins, such as the Catholic Social Services, the Glory Hole, Love INC, and St. Vincent de Paul. United Way agencies serve anyone in our community – regardless of religious affiliation.

Why should I give to United Way of Southeast? I never use agency services.
Statistics show that one of three people will use United Way services in their lifetime. Your support ensures that you, your loved ones, and your neighbors will have help when it is needed. Your gift enhances the quality of life in the community where we live, work, raise our families, and retire.

How do I benefit by giving to United Way of Southeast Alaska?

Here are four benefits our donors enjoy:
1.  Collaboration: You join a community-wide effort to make life better for all.
2.  Results: You help identify and implement long-term solutions to community problems.
3.  Impact: Your gift is leveraged through partnerships to achieve maximum community impact.
4.  Stewardship: Our operational expenses are well below the national average for nonprofit organizations and our operations are transparent. We work to serve as a model nonprofit and mentor to all nonprofit agencies.