Frequently Asked Questions

United Way of Northeast Louisiana is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) agency that works with volunteers, donors, and other local organizations to fight for the education, financial stability, and health of every person in our community.

Our mission is focused around helping people & improving our community.

Our values are Inclusiveness, Compassion, Integrity, Respect and Dignity, and Positive Impact.

Together, our work is focused on:

  • Children, youth, & young adults successful in school & life
  • Economic opportunity for all
  • Healthy and safe individuals, families, and community

All United Ways are locally run and governed in each community. Our staff works with knowledgeable, well-trained volunteers representative of our community here in Northeast Louisiana. A volunteer-led Board of Directors sets policy and strategic direction. Various volunteer committees oversee financial practices and provide counsel on operational issues.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of United Way of Northeast Louisiana is Amy Sawyer, North Delta Title Company.

The President of United Way of Northeast Louisiana is Janet S. Durden.

Our administrative and fundraising cost is 17.1% for the most recently filed 990 (October 2020).

United Way of Northeast Louisiana overhead rate is well below industry standards and recommendations (like the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance at 35% and the Office of Personnel Management/OPM at 25%). United Way helps hundreds of other nonprofits maintain low overhead rates too.

Overhead costs include important investments non-profits make to sustain and improve their work: investments in training, planning, evaluation, internal systems, and a professional staff, as well as their efforts to raise money so they can operate their programs. Other factors that contribute to non-profit performance include transparency, governance, leadership, and results.

United Way of Northeast Louisiana is a regional organization serving 12 parishes. These parishes are Caldwell, East Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Tensas, Union, and West Carroll. Parish-wide information on funded programs is available from your United Way staff person and here on our website.

United Way Worldwide is the leadership and support organization engaged in nearly 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories. It provides national media advertising including television Public Service Announcement broadcast during the NFL football season. It also sets national impact goals and provides brand leadership for local United Ways. Use of the United Way logo is based on United Way Membership Requirements regarding governance and fiscal accountability. In addition, United Way Worldwide conducts a vast array of research to assist member organizations in the development and implementation of their local community impact agenda. United Way Worldwide DOES NOT provide funding of any kind to any program, organizations, or any local United Way. United Way of Northeast Louisiana pays 1.5% of its annual campaign dollars to United Way Worldwide for dues.

When you give your undesignated gift to United Way of Northeast Louisiana, you are allowing local volunteers, representing all segments of the community, to determine how to invest the money in the issues and areas that need it most, ensuring our work is both focused on our community’s aspiration and achieving measurable results. The recommendations for funding are reviewed and approved by our volunteer Board of Directors.

An undesignated gift takes advantage of United Way of Northeast Louisiana’s thorough, research-based program selection that gets the money to the issues and areas that need it most. You can also choose to direct your gift to any of our Community Impact Initiatives or collaborations centered around our work in Education, Financial Stability, and Health.

By completing a Specific Care Form and submitting it with the pledge form, a designated gift restricts your gift to a specific 501(c)3 non-profit health and human service agency.

  • Designated gifts must be $100 or greater.
  • Gifts of less than $100 will be directed to the general fund.
  • These gifts will be adjusted for pledge loss and an administrative fee.
  • Specific Care Forms must be turned in to your Campaign Coordinator with the pledge amount and signed by the donor along with address and or email address by February 15th to be honored.

United Way of Northeast Louisiana is committed to the highest standards of accountability and transparency when investing donor dollars. As a matter of practice, no single staff member is able to process any transaction from start to finish and all checks must be signed by two authorized signers. The Finance Committee and Board of Directors review financial statements monthly to ensure adherence to the budget. An independent accounting firm audit United Way of Northeast Louisiana once a year and the Audit Committee and Board of Directors must review and approve this audit each year.

In order to receive funding from United Way of Northeast Louisiana, a partner agency program or organization must demonstrate that it is meeting the following strict accountability requirements:

  • Be a tax exempt, non-profit corporation
  • Be governed by a volunteer board whose members are elected and supported by trained, professional staff
  • Have an annual, independent financial audit (Agencies with under $100,000 in revenue may have an independent review)
  • Meet reasonable standards of financial responsibility and efficiency
  • Quantify or measure the changes that the agency/program is making in the lives of the people it serves

While United Way of Northeast Louisiana has standards for Partner Agencies, each agency is autonomous and is governed by a Board of Directors. The agencies determine the programs they provide to the community and their criteria for receiving services.

Agencies are not totally funded by United Way of Northeast Louisiana dollars and may depend on service or membership fees for financial support. Frequently, agencies offer sliding fee schedules so that people who are unable to pay the total fee can be charged based on their ability to pay.

Some agencies choose to discontinue their partnership with United Way of Northeast Louisiana; others do not continue to meet partnership standards and are asked to exit AFTER every effort is made to help the organization meet the partnership criteria and standards.

Any registered nonprofit agency in our service area that provides health and human services and is aligned with our Community Aspirations and goals identified by United Way may contact Kim Lowery, Director of Strategy to get information regarding available funding opportunities.

While United Way of Northeast Louisiana supports and serves our local community, we do not provide monetary assistance to individuals. The fastest and most efficient way to find out what resources are available in our community is to call 211. With just one call to 211 by cell or landline, anyone who needs help can speak with a caring, highly trained Specialist who will listen, assess their needs, offer emotional support, and get them connected to local services that could meet their needs. Call Specalists have access to a vast array of community and social service resources. For more information, visit the 211 Community Services Directory here, or simply call 211.

YES! United Way of Northeast Louisiana is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation. Donations to United Way are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by an individual’s or corporation’s circumstances.

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