Making Generosity Count: Why Give to United Way

Aug 2, 2022

People have big hearts.

In fact, we believe that if it were up to people’s hearts, no child would go hungry, no family would live in poverty, everyone would have a roof over their heads and the needs of the many would never go unmet.

However, when it comes to our wallets, our resources tend to be finite.

We live in a world in which the demands upon our generosity can be both constant and confusing. Where is the greatest amount of need? How do we know our money will go where we want it to? Who gets priority? How can we make the biggest difference with our donations?

Add to that the time and effort it takes to properly research nonprofit and charitable organizations for legitimacy and transparency, and simple acts of charity become more complex than we’d like.

This is where the United Way comes in.

Reasons to Give to United Way

We are the hub at the center of a carefully chosen group of partner agencies. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just make one centralized donation that could support a bunch of amazing nonprofits at once? Well, you can. That’s exactly what giving to United Way does. We’ve partnered with local Whatcom County nonprofit agencies that share our overarching commitment to breaking the cycle of poverty right here in our community. We take your dollars and get them out to programs that house, feed, educate and keep the most vulnerable among us safe and on a path to better days. You don’t need to spend a bunch of time vetting nonprofits or causes because we’ve done that work for you! All you have to do is give. And feel secure knowing your donation to United Way helps those who need it most.

Your money stays local. Another reason to give to United Way is that we’re helping in the community where you live. By partnering with such local agencies as Bellingham Food Bank, Brigid Collins Family Support Center, DVSAS, Interfaith Coalition, Lydia Place, Max Higbee Center, Northwest Youth Services, Opportunity Council, Whatcom Literary Council, and many others, we’re able to make each dollar you donate go as far as possible in your own backyard. Every donation we receive benefits Whatcom County as a whole. A gift to the United Way of Whatcom County is an investment in a more promising future for your community.

A little goes a long way. We’ll be the first to say that every dollar makes a difference. That’s the core principle of every nonprofit and it’s one in which we strongly believe. A gift to United Way enables the dollars you donate to join and merge with the donations from your coworkers, friends, neighbors, and community members to help make an even bigger impact. Yes, every little bit absolutely counts! And it’s also true that when a whole bunch of little bits get together, they create something big. United Way acts as a conduit and multiplier to leverage your little bit into an act of generosity that resonates across our community.

We know what we’re doing. We’ve been supporting nonprofits in Whatcom County for a long time. Our Community Impact Panel process incorporates local community volunteers, voices, and experts to select partner agencies that align with our goals of meeting basic needs, increasing economic mobility, and breaking the cycle of poverty in Whatcom County. Through our ALICE report, we know how to compile the information critical to determining type, degree, areas and populations of greatest need. We have systems in place to encourage and ensure accountability and transparency among our partner agencies—a level of accountability and transparency that is mirrored in our own operations. United Way of Whatcom County is proudly local, but also benefits from being part of a nationwide United Way network that has been working to improve the lives of people where they live for more than a century.

We get results. Of all the reasons to donate to United Way, this one might be the most important. Because we partner with so many supportive companies, donors, volunteers, and nonprofits, we are able to make a real impact in our community. That might look like helping Whatcom Family YMCA offer essential childcare, exercise, and food-delivery services. Or assisting the Bellingham Food Bank with food storage and distribution to their network of county food banks. Or helping to make it possible for Brigid Collins to fulfill their mission of ending child abuse. Or providing funding for Interfaith Coalition’s Family Promise program, which helps families experiencing homelessness transition to safe and stable housing. Or feeding the homebound seniors among us via the Meals on Wheels and More program. These are just some of the examples of what we’re able to accomplish thanks to your generosity.

You get to change lives. An estimated one in four Whatcom County residents benefits from a United Way-funded program each year. Those are your dollars at work—changing lives for the better

If you’ve ever wondered, “Should I give to United Way?” or “Why should I give to United Way?” we hope we’ve provided some additional insight as to how United Way of Whatcom County makes it simple to decide where to devote your dollars. Let us help you make an impact that is as big as your heart.

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