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Each United Way is independently governed by a local volunteer board, in order to best meet our local needs and opportunities. We must, however, adhere to a stringent set of membership standards that focus on governance, ethics, financial management, and general operations.
United Way brings together citizens, community leaders, business, the faith community, government, non-profit organizations and other institutions to determine the most critical human issues that require collective, not just individual, action. These issues range from basic human needs - like food, shelter and emergency assistance - to emerging and growing issues like the need for affordable housing, services and support for seniors, and positive youth development. United Way then raises money locally in an annual campaign, generates other revenue outside of the campaign, secures non-cash in-kind resources, and advocates for sound public policy, along with employing other relevant strategies in order to produce concrete results.
United Way volunteers, after serious and deliberate consideration of each agency’s application for funds, invest resources in non-profit agencies like Big Brothers Big Sisters, Winona ORC Industries, and Winona Volunteer Services.
United Way is one of the few remaining not-for-profit vehicles to pool investments in order to create a greater return on the individual investment. The good news is that many of our investors’ favorite agencies are supported since United Way does not directly provide human services. Instead, we each are helping to create a focused agenda, investing in strategies and agencies that show results, and providing investment options in a community pool, an issue-oriented product investment (e.g. fostering independence), and the opportunity to invest in individual agencies.
As an investor, you should view United Way as a key strategic partner in achieving your philanthropic aspirations. United Way can connect your aspirations to need and opportunity. Whether your interest is youth development, services that assist people with physical disabilities or the work of a single non-profit organization, United Way has the capacity and breadth to make your investment more powerful.
Through United Way, you get the scale and capacity of a $5 billion global enterprise – recognized by 98% of all Americans – but organized and operated at a community level, making it accessible to you. We’re big and we’re small at the same time. United Way is the largest private-sector investor in human need and development.