Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q. What is your relationship with the United Way of America and how much does it cost?

A. United Ways are independent operations that set their own policies and handle their own finances. The United Way of America typically offers support services like advertising and marketing but not policy direction.

Q. I am concerned that the United Way is not well managed. What is going on with former President William Aramony at the United Way of America?

A. United Ways are independent operations that set their own policies and handle their own finances. The United Way of America typically offers support services like advertising and marketing but not for policy direction. As we understand it William Aramony was convicted and was incarcerated for eight years for his financial mismanagement at the United Way of America. This was an issue that was limited to the operations of the United Way of America, which is completely unrelated to the well-managed United Way of New Canaan.

Q. How much of the United Way of New Canaan funds are actually distributed in New Canaan?

A. Of the total funds, 26% are distributed to New Canaan based agencies, 53% is distributed to agencies serving New Canaan, and 21% is distributed to agencies serving the broader community.

Q. How much is your overhead and why is it so high?

A. The most recent audited financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2001 indicates that supporting services was $161,000 or 22.2% of total revenues. This amount is considered reasonable for nonprofit organizations of a similar size and nature.

Q. Why won’t you accept a designation of where I want my gift to go?

A. We encourage your direct support of individual nonprofit organizations. The United Way of New Canaan provides an opportunity for one donation to support many programs based on our proven methods of identifying and responding to community needs.

Q. Can you give me some examples of needs that were identified and addressed by the United Way of New Canaan?

A. The United Way of New Canaan has responded to identified needs in the community with the establishment of the Senior Center of New Canaan, the New Canaan Youth Commission, The Teen Center, Saturdays STARS, the Touch A Life Fund, and ACCESS New Canaan to name a few.

Q. Will you keep my pledge information confidential?

A. Yes, we only disclose information with permission of the donor or as required by law.

Q. Do you support the Boy Scouts?

A. Yes.

Q. Is it true that you made reductions in the distributions to some agencies last year?

A. Yes. The amount of the distribution to an agency may increase, decrease or stay the same from one year to the next. The annual amount is based on: (1) our identification of community needs, (2) a rigorous annual evaluation of our partner agencies, and (3) the success of our annual campaign. The allocation process includes recommendations made by our trained panels of allocation
volunteers and a review by our board.

Q. How were you able to find funds for new agencies when you had to cut funds distributed to continuing agencies?

A. Each year we may add or eliminate agencies; and we may increase, decrease or maintain the allocation to a continuing agency. These decisions are based on (1) our identification of community needs, (2) a rigorous annual evaluation of our partner agencies, and (3) the success of our annual campaign. The allocation process includes recommendations made by our trained panels of allocation volunteers and a review by our board.