Frequently Asked Questions
Who's in charge of St. Landry-Evangeline United Way?
A local diverse group of volunteers representing St. Landry and Evangeline parishes oversee the United Way organization.This Board of Directors meets monthly to discuss issues that affect the community, review the budget, plan for future needs, and learn about the community impact initiatives United Way is engaged in. The Board makes sure that the contributions are spent wisely, and for the programs that they are intended. Committee members meet as needed to review information and submit recommendations at the monthly meeting. Board members serve as chairpersons and committees are made up of interested board members, donors and the community at large -- and that is how we LIVE UNITED!
Why should I give to United Way?
United Way provides an answer to local needs - homelessness, hunger, at-risk youth, disabled, mentally challenged, healthcare for the uninsured working poor and assistance for the terminally ill and their family. With your donation, combined with your neighbor's donation, the total adds up to help many different local organizations. United Way is one way that a diverse group of people, business competitors, the rich and poor, for profit and non-profit organizations all come together to make a difference. Local volunteers make sure that your donation is making a difference, is going to an organization that is providing local services and that the money is used for the program that it was intended. Your one donation will help many - and that is how you can LIVE UNITED!
How can employers impact the community through United Way?
Employers make a difference every year with corporate gifts. Not only does giving at a corporate level help the community, it sets the example for employees. A company is asked to do several things during the United Way campaign - to give a corporate donation, to allow employees to attend a short presentation about United Way and to offer payroll deduction to the employees.
That added step of allowing employees to attend a United Way presentation to learn about local services is the key to employee participation. An employee wants to make an educated decision about giving his or her hard earned money to a cause and United Way volunteers are confident that the decision will be positive after hearing about the great things happening because of the United Way funding. If payroll deduction is offered to the employees, it gives the employee a chance to help without noticing a small amount deducted from their payroll check.
Allowing employees to volunteer while on company time has been beneficial to agencies that need repairs or projects completed but have no budget to pay for it. Companies have employees with valuable expertise that can be offered throughout the community. United Way will set up a Day of Caring for those employers who want to help but don't know where to start.
Employers are noticing that employees who are working together for the good of the community are learning team building skills, they develop better working relations with their fellow employees and they feel good about helping the community, so their outlook on life is more positive. As employees are educated about the United Way agencies and the services provided in the community, they are able to refer someone who needs assistance - what better way to feel good than to help someone who needs help.
Because St. Landry-Evangeline United Way does not have a million dollar budget to have a weekend telethon they will not be able to let you hear from the 1000's of people who have been helped in St. Landry and Evangeline parishes. Instead, the local United Way depends on caring volunteers to help spread the word about the good things happening locally due to the contributions that stay in the community. The more people who know about services in the area, the more people who will become involved and the more people who will be helped.
If your company has not been involved in the United Way campaign, make that decision to say yes to the community. A United Way volunteer will take the time to answer any questions about how to get involved. Just call 942-7815.
How can an employee get involved?
There are several ways an employee can get involved with the community and United Way can help. Giving a monetary donation, whether through payroll deduction with your employer, helping your employee team conduct a special fundraiser event or giving an individual gift on your own will help the partner agencies provide needed services to our neighbors needing a hand. But even with donations, your time is a precious gift to the organization you're helping and to yourself. There is no better feeling than being involved in a project that may impact someone's life!
Whether you want to volunteer one time or continuous, there are many opportunities that United Way can help you find. One way is to click on the volunteer button on our home page and look at what's available! Another way is to call us - someone will be glad to help you find an opportunity to help.
Who gets funded after the money is raised?
St. Landry-Evangeline United Way has an open application yearly for interested non-profit organizations. Organizations must submit the application before the posted deadline to be considered for funding. To be eligible for review, an organization must be governed by a volunteer board of directors of at least 5 members who meet at least 4 times a year, submit a 501©3 non-profit determination letter from the I.R.S. Along with that, the most recent IRS 990 and audit must be submitted, the dates of the board of directors meeting, a budget request describing the program needing funding and other sources of income, and a supplemental fundraiser request for each fundraiser that is planned for the upcoming year. The Fund Distribution Committee comprised of United Way board members and community volunteers will then review the application to determine if the organization is providing a needed service in the community, is not duplicating services already being funding by United Way, and is an organization that has strong leadership to assure that they will be accountable for the grant. The organization must be willing to sign a contract of commitment with United Way and provide financial information, minutes and statistics on a timely basis.
Why be a member of United Way Worldwide?
United Way Worldwide, located in Alexandria, Virginia, is a national service and training center that supports approximately 1400 community based United Ways, 12 are located in Louisiana. United Way's 110-year history is built on the proven effectiveness of local organizations helping people in their community who need help. Through a vast network of volunteers and community service agencies, United Way organizations across America help meet the health and human care needs of millions of people every day. United Way Worldwide helps each United Way organization pursue the dual strategies of adding value to the community and conducting cost-effective fund raising to increase financial resources. The United Way system supports the greatest variety of health and human services in the United States and is second only to the federal government.
Each United Way is locally run by volunteers and funds non-profit organizations providing services in the area. United Way organizations across the country identify community problems and gather community groups to help develop preventative projects and special programs. Trained United Way volunteers identify and prioritize community needs, then direct funding to agencies and programs that get results locally. United Way contributions are always hard at work helping to address issues that are most critical to your particular community. Giving through United Way member organizations at the workplace helps the hometown community as well as the people and places you care about in your community.
Although United Way Worldwide does not govern local United Way organizations, it provides a network among all of the organizations that is considered one of the strongest alliances that exists. The recognizable logo is known throughout the world and identifies an organization that is accountable, respectable and addresses local community needs. United Way Worldwide has membership standards for local United Ways to assure that all United Ways are accountable to their communities.
Many benefits are given to St. Landry-Evangeline United Way in return for the dues paid for membership (1% of each dollar). Conferences and classes are available to staff and volunteers to learn about fundraising and management of a United Way. Scholarships and membership credits help defray the cost of registration, lodging and travel. Technical assistance is only a phone call away for the local United Ways. Program information, public policy issues and national social service concerns are shared with the local United Ways, as well as campaign information on corporations that want one campaign nationwide. During local or regional disasters, United Way Worldwide mobilizes its forces, volunteers and resources to assist. For more information about United Way Worldwide, a web site is available at www.unitedway.org.
Where are the United Ways located in Louisiana and do they work together?
Louisiana has 12 United Way organizations providing funding for hundreds of non-profit organizations and thousands of programs. The services provided affect hundreds of thousands of Louisianans daily! Most of the United Ways located within our state are members of the Louisiana Association of United Ways. LAUW meets several times a year to discuss state and local needs, such as 2-1-1, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, or disaster relief and long term recovery.
Although each United Way is completely autonomous of each other and is governed by local volunteers, they share a common function - to lead and participate in assessing the needs and aspirations of their community, focusing on the building blocks of a strong community, and help fund local services for people in their area, always accountable to the local citizens for the dollars given.