Every day, United Way of Central Carolinas harnesses the power of collective giving to fight against the community’s most daunting social challenges and support children, families and neighbors in need.


By giving to United Way, you help foster effective programs and initiatives that improve the lives of people across the Charlotte region. Learn more about what we do and the impact of your donation with answers to some frequently asked questions about United Way.






Who is United Way?


As a community-focused organization that funds area nonprofits, we work with government agencies, businesses, donors and volunteers to mobilize resources when and where they’re needed to ensure our most vulnerable neighbors have the opportunity to achieve economic mobility. Our unique position at the center of the nonprofit community allows us to act as a mobilizer, convener and advocate for change to address some of the most complex economic and social disparities across a five-county region.



Why United Way?


We know how to drive lasting change. With more than 85 years of experience, we are strategic community leaders who have in-depth knowledge of the communities we serve, the challenges that affect them and the organizations that have the most impact. Our focus on leadership, efficiency and accountability helps support the mission of service delivery by nonprofits. We bring the right parties together from across the region and within neighborhoods to address the big challenges facing individuals, families and communities.



What is economic mobility and why is it so important?


Every member of our community should have an equal opportunity to achieve their potential, yet the hard truth is that children born into poverty in our region have virtually no chance of escaping it. To break the cycle of generational poverty and achieve financial stability, a person’s basic needs for food, shelter and healthcare must be met. By investing in innovative and grassroots organizations that strengthen neighborhoods and create lasting change, United Way helps people to realize longer-term goals for educational and career advancement, as well as secure affordable housing.



Where does my money go?


When you give to United Way of Central Carolinas, your donation supports 100 local agencies that work across our five-county footprint. Based on both community need and significant research, investments are made in these service categories: Education, Health, Financial Stability and Basic Needs.



Why give to United Way instead of directly to organizations I am passionate about?


We believe in collective giving for collective impact. Working with our network of more than 100 partners across a five-county region, we have the scale to drive impact because we do what no one agency can do alone, which is get donors’ dollars where they are needed most. Our partnerships and collaborations allow us to take on big challenges such as early childhood education, affordable housing, mental health services, access to medical care and financial stability.



How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted your work?


The work of United Way is more necessary because of the pandemic. Our community and nonprofit partners continue to face significant financial challenges. The impact of this public health and economic crisis will be felt far into the future and amplifies the needs within our community. As job losses mount, healthcare systems become overwhelmed, schools make adjustments to learning environments and businesses adjust to a new reality, United Way responds to the evolving needs of the community. We have the flexibility to deploy funding resources where they are needed the most to achieve the greatest impact for children, families and individuals.



Can I give to another charity with my United Way donation?


A designated gift to a 501(c)3 organization or another United Way is optional but must be a minimum of $250. Gifts designated to other agencies are not monitored by United Way and require a deduction of administrative fees, where applicable.



What is United Way’s overhead rate?


United Way of Central Carolinas has an overhead rate of 17%. This is competitive with the top 100 nonprofits in the U.S. and is well below the industry standard and recommendations from the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance and Charity Navigator. United Way keeps a close eye on expenses, while making sure we have the talent expertise and systems to raise and invest resources for maximum impact.


Learn more about our strategy and how you can join us to Live United.