FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is United Way?
With deep local roots in community service, United Way of the Midlands has served the Omaha-Council Bluff community for over 95 years. Working on behalf of thousands of donors, UWM’s focus is to serve those living in poverty – helping our most vulnerable neighbors stand strong and work toward independence. We invest in programs that demonstrate national, evidence-based best practices in the following areas:
· Basic Needs
· Financial Stability
Who does United Way help?
United Way of the Midlands helps the most vulnerable members of our community – individuals living in or at-risk of poverty. In our metro, there are more than 100,000 people living in poverty. For a family of four, this means they are living on less than $25,000 annually.
Where does United Way make an impact?
United Way of the Midlands-funded programs operate in Douglas, Sarpy or Pottawattamie counties. This means donor dollars stay right here in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro, helping our neighbors fulfill their needs and lead healthy, independent lives. Our 2-1-1 Helpline impacts the whole state of Nebraska and eight counties in southwest Iowa.
How long has United Way been in Omaha?
Originally called the Omaha Community Chest, the first campaign was held in 1923. Over the years, our name has changed but we have continued to work alongside the Omaha-Council Bluffs community to ensure our most vulnerable neighbors have services available to help in times of need. Read more about our history >>
How does United Way help?
United Way of the Midlands brings individuals, businesses, nonprofits and government agencies together to strengthen our community.
• We identify community needs, service gaps and opportunities to improve life in our region.
• We inspire individuals and organizations to give their time and financial resources to support these needs.
• We convene organizations with related programs to facilitate collaboration and information sharing – ultimately strengthening the network of services available to community members.
• We invest in the metro’s strongest health and human service programs.
• We require funded programs to demonstrate quantifiable results so we can evaluate and share our progress with you.
What programs does United Way fund?
Programs funded through the Community Care Fund are selected through our Community Investment Review Team (CIRT) Process. This effort is facilitated by UWM’s community impact team of subject matter experts, along with our analytics and performance team.
During the CIRT process, community volunteers review funding proposals submitted by local nonprofit agencies. The volunteers evaluate each proposal based on a number of criteria, including the program’s ability to demonstrate measurable impact, drive efficiencies, establish collaborations and more. Their discernment resulted in a 2018-2020 investment portfolio that maintains a broad community-wide view and recognizes that challenges are interconnected. View our investments here.
What makes United Way unique?
As a community-wide organization, United Way of the Midlands leverages its unique attributes to serve as a funder, educator, data aggregator, innovator and convener.
One person, on their own, may not have much reach. But when we put our efforts together, and leverage the volunteer resources and experienced know-how of the United Way, thousands of lives are changed for the better. The United Way makes sure donors’ dollars are invested wisely, for maximum impact, with clear, measurable goals in more than 110 programs across the community.
Continue to our website to read more about the funding process.
How is United Way of the Midlands connected to other United Ways?
United Ways across the country are locally-governed by a Board of Directors in their service areas and set their own policies.
Because United Way organizations have a community-wide perspective, United Way of the Midlands connects with United Way organizations around the country to share learnings, experiences and insights. United Way Worldwide (UWW) often facilitates information sharing and aggregates data from the network of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways around the world. UWW is an international service association created to serve independent, local United Ways by providing necessary services such as training for staff and volunteers, national publicity, campaign materials and program and service data. UWW does not set policy for UWM or any of the other locally-governed United Ways across the country. Read more about United Way Worldwide >>
How can I donate?
Donors can make online gifts by clicking here or simply texting THATKINDOFTOWN to 41444. Many donors also give through a workplace campaign.
You can also mail a check or stop by and see us at our office at 2201 Farnam St., Ste. 200, Omaha, NE, 68102. Please call 402-342-8232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
I want to cancel my donation.
Please email our team at email@example.com to cancel, void or refund a donation.
If you donate through our online donation form or through a text-to-give campaign, you can visit https://www.mobilecause.com/constituent-terms-new/ to learn more about terms, how to opt out, get help or learn more about your donation.
How can I start a campaign in my workplace?
We’re happy to help you start a workplace campaign! There are many ways you can share your enthusiasm for United Way and promote philanthropic giving in your workplace.
For more information, please contact Greg Vassios, Senior Vice President, Corporate and Donor Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I have an electronic campaign at my company?
Yes, United Way of the Midlands operates local and national campaigns on electronic pledging systems. For more information on electronic campaigns, contact Greg Vassios, Senior Vice President, Corporate and Donor Relations at email@example.com.
What is leadership giving?
United Way of the Midlands’ leadership giving programs recognize local donors who have given $1,000 per year or more. The Bridgebuilder Society recognizes donors with yearly gifts of $1,000 – $9,999 and the Tocqueville Society recognizes yearly gifts of $10,000 or more. UWM is proud to recognize approximately 2,000 Bridgebuilder Society members and more than 250 Tocqueville Society members each year.
Can I designate my gift?
Yes, United Way of the Midlands donors can designate to a local human and health services agency of their choice, even if the agency is not funded through UWM’s Community Care Fund. When a donor designates a gift to a specific UWM-funded agency, those dollars will be distributed and reported separately from the amount allocated annually through the CCF. Click here to read the Designation Guidelines >>
You can also designate your gift to a specific giving area or one of our initiatives: Basic Needs, Education, Financial Stability, Book Trust, Opportunity Youth or the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
Does United Way have a foundation?
No, United Way of the Midlands does not currently have a foundation. In 2003, the UWM Foundation was formed to build long-term support for the organization’s ongoing human service mission. In 2017, after careful consideration, the UWM Board voted to formally dissolve the UWM Foundation Board. The UWM Board agreed that the primary focus of the foundation had been to encourage current Tocqueville Society members to convert their contributions into Endowed Tocqueville Society gifts, and they felt a Tocqueville Endowment Committee could better carry out this mission.
Is United Way efficient with the money?
We make every dollar count. United Way of the Midlands is ranked 7th for campaign performance out of approximately 1,200 U.S.-based United Ways. As a result, more than 91 cents out of every donated dollar is invested directly back into our local community. Read more about United Way’s financials >>
*Updated January 2019
How can I get help now?
If you’re in need of assistance, call the 2-1-1 Helpline or text your zip code to 898211. 2-1-1 Information and Referral Specialists have the community’s most extensive human service database at their fingertips. They can connect you directly to food pantries, counseling, utility assistance or other health and human services in our community.
2-1-1 is available by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The call is free and confidential.
Read more about the help available >>
How are United Way and 2-1-1 connected?
United Way of the Midlands operates the 2-1-1 Helpline call center, which provides information and referral services to the full state of Nebraska and eight counties in Iowa (Pottawattamie, Harrison, Mills, Shelby, Cass, Montgomery, Fremont and Page). UWM works alongside the Nebraska 2-1-1 Coalition to ensure this service is available to all Nebraskans. The coalition includes the State of Nebraska, the Nebraska Public Service Commission, Nebraska’s United Way organizations, University of Nebraska’s Public Policy Center, regional and county health departments and others. Read more about 2-1-1 >>
How can I volunteer with United Way?
United Way of the Midlands works with local nonprofits to identify meaningful volunteer opportunities for a variety of interests and time commitments. Projects range from a one-time hourly project, such as painting a house or clerical work, to a continuous commitment, such as mentoring or tutoring. Click here to browse all available volunteer opportunities >>
What is Day of Caring?
Day of Caring is an annual day of volunteerism, pairing hundreds of volunteers with dozens of project in the Omaha metro area. This special day of service was created in 2001 to promote the spirit and value of volunteerism in the Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie County area. Click here for more information on Day of Caring >>
Is United Way on social media?
Yes! You can follow United Way on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram.
I have more questions . . .
If you have more questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call our main number at 402.342.8232 to be connected to a staff member who can provide an answer.