As we enter the busy fall campaign season, many great causes and charity efforts will come under great scrutiny. Each year, we see the forwarded emails from a friend or co-worker with a plea to not support nonprofits this year. The emails claim that most of your money goes to pay a CEO or is exhausted on overhead. They ask you to review all of this data before you give.
We could not agree more!
Some of the biggest myths we see that deter people from giving to our local United Way are:
- Most of the funds go to overhead and very little goes back out into the community.
- United Way donations go to fund abortions and other programs that do not reflect the values of our local community here in East Texas.
- The CEO and senior staff earn an unusually high salary.
- Donations get funneled through a national organization and don’t come back to help our local neighbors here in Smith County.
The above bullet points represent false statements and myths that are addressed below. We encourage everyone to do their due diligence and examine what your local nonprofits are actually doing to help our neighbors in need. If you are looking for a worthwhile local cause to volunteer with and direct your year end giving to, we invite you to examine the United Way of Smith County.
By Bringing local people and resources together, we are working hard to improve Education, Financial Stability, Health, and Crisis Intervention right here in Smith County. About 6,300 individuals and 277 companies in Smith County contributed last year, and the average gift was $3.80/per week!
A group of dedicated local volunteers spend countless hours interviewing program directors, reviewing budgets, and allocating United Way funds in a way that reflect the values of our community and ensure that every dollar stays here in Smith County to help our most vulnerable neighbors.
Some useful facts for you to know before you give…
- Our local United Way is audited each year by an independent accounting firm
- Our IRS form 990 is available for anyone to review online
- A handful of companies designate their corporate gift to sponsor our overhead so that money raised during our annual campaign is going right back out into the community and is not exhausted on admin expenses
- The 2-1-1 call center and East Texas Center for Nonprofits are two programs of United Way of Smith County that offer information and referral as well as training and resources for nonprofits in a 14 county area.
- Every dollar given here stays here
- All funding decisions are made locally
- Last year, we supported 34 programs with the money raised
- Donors have the option to designate their gift to an impact area, or a specific group of agencies
- We do not support Planned Parenthood and have not at any time during our 78 year history since incorporating as the Tyler Community Chest in 1940.
Does our local United Way affiliate pay dues to United Way Worldwide, and does that come out of my donation?