There are approximately 495,000 tax?exempt/nonprofit organizations in the United States (excluding churches) that may receive tax?deductible contributions. Of those with incomes above $25,000, roughly 55,000 are classified as human service organizations and another 28,000 are health related (Hodgkinson and Weitzman, 1996). The term “nonprofits” refers to these health and human service organizations. The types of health and human services that nonprofit organizations provide include housing and residential care, youth development, recreation, services to children and families, employment assistance, crime and delinquency prevention, food and nutrition, and substance abuse and addiction treatment (Hodgkinson and Weitzman, 1996). However many organizations are much more than just helping the sick and feeding the poor. They help so many people in their time of needed, some through programs and others through services in the committee. There are so many different needs that people had not just the hungry and the sick.
Through a vast network of volunteers and community agencies, United Way throughout America help meet the health and human-care needs of million of people every day. United Ways 110 year history is built on the proven effectiveness of local organizations helping people in their own communities.
The United Way system includes approximately 1,400 community-based United Way organizations. Each is independent, separately incorporated, and governed by local volunteers. Through a single community-wide campaign, United Way volunteers raise funds to support local agency service providers. In total, voluntary contributions to United Way support approximately 45,000 agencies and chapters, helping millions of people from all walks of life and income groups. Apart from the government, United Way supports the greatest variety of health and human services in the country.
In 1997-1998, United Way volunteers raised $3.4 billion (Young, Hollister, and Hodgkinson, 1998). Which was used for human services ranging from disaster relief, emergency food and shelter and crisis intervention to day care, physical rehabilitation and youth development. That was 4.7 percent increase over the $3.2 billion amount raised in 1996. Because of the vast network of volunteers and the simplicity for corporate payroll deduction, administrative expenses for the largest United Way average about 13 percent of all funds raised. This low figure compares favorably with the suggested Better Business Bureau guidelines of up to 35 percent.
Each volunteer ensures that every group receiving funds are a non-profit, tax-exempt charity governed by volunteers. Each charity is to submit to an annual, independent financial audit, provide services at a reasonable cost, and maintain a policy of non-discrimination. During United Ways extensive annual citizen-review process, local experienced volunteers assess community needs and determine how to distribute funds so that donors know their money is serving the most pressing community issues and reaching the people who are most in need.
How much of the contributions reach community charities? The real advantage of United Way is its ability to raise money for the organizations it funds far less expensively than they ever hope to do. They keep fund-raising costs low, allowing nearly all of your contributions to go directly to community charities. On average, local United Ways nationwide distribute to community charities approximately 85% of the dollars raised compared with only 70% or less for other charities.
Last year United Way funded over 45,500 agencies whose programs help people who really need help. They developed programs such as promoting health and preventing diseases. Other strong programs that they developed were for the strengthening of families. They found that today parents have problem caring for a families and having a loving relationship with the children. Last year 25% of all the funds the United Way and the local United Way went to programs to help parents keep on track.
To add to the local programs local have the United Way has start, by themselves or with other agencies, many different programs nationwide. Even thou that United Way is thought as a charity they help some many people. And these are some of the nationwide programs that they fund.
Since 1983, Congress has appropriated $1.7 billion for the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program. The National Board composed of six voluntary agencies (including United Way of America) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, uses specific selection criteria to award grants to those civil jurisdictions in greatest need