We get many questions from our donors, volunteers, and members of the community at large. It would be impossible to sample them all here, so we have answered some of those questions which people seem to ask most frequently.
It is our experience that the vast majority of people have a good legitimate question to ask, and we would invite anyone to phone Robert Howard at 905 436-7377, to ask any questions about any aspect of the United Way in our community. As we receive more questions, we will add to this list.
Q. Why can’t someone else do it?
A. You are someone else’s someone else. We have tens of thousands of donors locally. Our strength is that when so many people help out, there can be a magnificent outcome without any single person being inordinately disadvantaged. By contributing yourself, you will encourage others to follow your example. We are grateful to each and every one of our donors who help to the extent that they are able. Indeed, this is the very definition of a community.
Q. I’d like to help, but I am unsure how much you expect, what is a good donation amount?
A. An amount that you are comfortable with. We have people who donate in the tens of thousands of dollars, and we have donors who contribute ten dollars a year. We have thousands of donors by payroll deduction who contribute from fifty cents per week to one hundred dollars per week. In each instance it is our hope that each donor feels comfortable with their level of support, and that they know that they are helping those most in need in the most efficient fashion possible.
Q. Do you build buildings or run capital campaigns?
A. No. Our priority is people. We are not into bricks and mortar or capital campaigning. Local people need help, they need it immediately, our donor dollars are put to work immediately helping those least advantaged among us. The benefits to the individuals and to the community are tangible. The immediacy and the proximity help to ensure efficiency.
Q. There are so many charities, which one should I support?
A. The essence of this question speaks directly to part of the reason why the United Way was created in the first place. There was thought to be “charity clutter.” As a solution, the leaders in our community thought it would be more efficient to have a single campaign for a broad diversity of need. The savings in time and money would be obvious, and a single broadly based and supported campaign would help to raise the profile of the various causes which affect those disadvantaged among us.
When you support the United Way you are supporting many agencies which address a great deal of need in the community with a single donation. You are promoting efficiency and clarity with the charitable sector. You are supporting the good work of your neighbours, and encouraging every one of our volunteers.
Q. If my spouse gives, should I?
A. Of course, we have successful campaigns in most of the major employers in our area. It is inevitable that in many instances there are two donors in a family. As governments can do less, it is crucial that we at the community level do more. Your contribution will compliment the work that your spouse helps to enable, and in many instances you may combine your giving to receive greater tax benefits.
Q. Where does the money go?
A. Each and every dollar helps totally in this local community. None of the money which is raised here goes overseas, or to Ottawa, or Queens Park.
Q. But where does the money really go?
A. All of the agencies on our list (see elsewhere on the website) are located within our geographical area. (Oshawa-Whitby-Clarington-Ajax-Pickering-Uxbridge-Brock&Scugog) None of the money is given to government. While donors can designate their donations to other United Ways, (where they live for example) our priority is helping people within our community. We support more than 30 local social service agencies which in turn provide service to more than 80,000 people.
Q. How many agencies and people are you able to help?
A. We support more than 25 local social service organizations. These agencies provide approximately 200 programs which in turn bring support and assistance to more than 80,000 people locally.