Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I give to the United Way Community Impact Fund and not directly to an individual charity?
Three main reasons:
  1. 100% of your donation stays local to help Whatcom County individuals and families
  2. Programs are vetted and dollars are allocated according to community goals and needs
  3. One donation supports over 20 local nonprofits all working together to make a difference
No one agency can fix complicated problems like homelessness, poverty, domestic violence, and addiction. A family in need may be turning to multiple programs for support. Giving to United Way’s Community Impact Fund allows you to give to a comprehensive network of vetted programs and agencies all at once, stretching your dollars even further.
United Way donations are raised by our community for our community, and local community members determine how the resulting dollars are invested in our community.
Did you know? United Way partner agencies go through a thorough vetting process before receiving funding, so you can feel good about knowing your dollars will be well spent. 
I live in the county. How does United Way help support my friends and neighbors?
Great question! There’s a reason we’re called United Way of Whatcom County. We are dedicated to serving everyone in our community, and are always looking for ways to grow and expand our reach. We are working with a variety of programs that serve areas all over the county. Here are some great things happening in the County:
Did you know? 1 in 4 Whatcom County residents benefit from at least one United Way funded program each year. How many people do you know? Chances are you’ve helped a lot of them!
What about overhead costs? Should I be concerned?
This is very a common question for nonprofits. Why? Because people care deeply about the causes they give to and want to make sure they are making a maximum impact with their dollars. This makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, judging an organization based on their overhead percentage doesn’t.
In the for-profit world, overhead is accepted as the cost of doing business, and very few people ask what a company’s overhead is when making a purchase. Imagine asking your waitress about overhead before deciding whether or not to “invest” in your lunch. Sounds odd, doesn’t it? Now, imagine trying to do your job with no budget for office, staff, technology or other every day expenses. How much could you accomplish?
United Way of Whatcom County’s investment in infrastructure (overhead) is approximately 18%. This investment allows us to hire a dedicated, long-term staff (5 employees), maintain an office, comply with audits and other financial oversight, and fund a network of nonprofit agencies doing amazing work here in Whatcom County.
Did you know? United Way of Whatcom County has a Platinum rating on GuideStar, one of the top charity watchdog groups.
I don’t see my favorite organization on the list of funded programs. What happened?
It’s possible the organization you’re looking for may not have applied for funding this year. Perhaps they found new funding sources or are shifting their programs to different areas of impact.
Decisions about which programs to fund aren’t easy. Our Community Impact Panel carefully evaluates each request to determine if and how a particular program fits into our goals, what the long-term outcomes are, and what level of funding we can provide. As a result, the list of programs and agencies we fund will change from year to year, depending on community needs and priorities.
United Way is constantly striving to find, support, and invest in the best long-term solutions to bring people out of poverty and into healthier, more stable situations. We truly believe this benefits not just those we help, but all of us as a community.
Did you know? Our group of partner agencies changes as the needs in our community change. The more money we raise, the more great programs we can support!
How much of my money stays in Whatcom County?
All of it! United Way is the largest nonprofit in America, but each United Way is separate and focuses solely on their community. Only programs operating locally are eligible for funding from United Way of Whatcom County. We believe in creating strong kids, families, and neighborhoods right here at home— where we live, work, and play.
Did you know? United Way is a community driven organization. Local business, organizations and volunteers help raise and distribute dollars invested right here in Whatcom County.
Is my donation tax deductible?

Yes. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit, which makes your donation 100% tax deductible. Our tax ID is 91-0570788.

Can you provide me with housing, food, a job, childcare, or other assistance?
We don’t provide direct service, but check out our partner programs. They might have what you’re looking for.