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Bad Reputation Debunked

Mid-Plains United Way’s 2019-2020 fundraising campaign is well underway, and we would like to make some clarifications based on your questions.

Mid-Plains United Way is a member of United Way Worldwide, but we are an independent organization. Less than 1% of donations go to this membership. Of that money, $0 goes to United Way Worldwide’s President and CEO Brian Gallagher. Membership dues instead go toward providing training for our Mid-Plains United Way team, resources on how to overcome obstacles in our community, public relations materials, FamilyWize prescription discount cards, our 2-1-1 hotline that directs individuals to local resources 24/7 (i.e. rental assistance, food pantries, domestic violence resources, etc.) and ensures that we are accountable and transparent.

Donations that help with administration do not only go toward fundraising. It also allows us to help the mother on maternity leave whose utility bill was a little more than expected, or the father who has his kids for the weekend but can’t find an open food pantry so he can feed them. We help these individuals through these unnerving moments to ensure they get the help that they need. Our time also goes toward placing donations. We often get phone calls from truck drivers with extra pallets of food or from businesses that did a goods drive but did not know where to take the items. We collect their information and place their donations with the appropriate local nonprofit. Additionally, we provide manpower when needed to help our partner agencies at fundraisers, writing press releases, providing marketing documents/direction, promoting events, promoting what they do and so much more.

Our autonomy from United Way Worldwide gives us the opportunity to individualize and cater to the needs of the communities that we serve while our membership gives us resources and a brand that has a legacy of donor confidence. This year our administration time is also going toward focusing on two issues outside of just fundraising: housing and literacy. We are connecting non-profits and leaders in our community in efforts to provide a solution for transitional housing in the wake of rental home code enforcement. We want to make sure that, in the process of holding landlords accountable, no family is displaced due to inability to afford rent (if it is increased) or condemnation. Every family deserves a safe, affordable home. We are also working with our public school system to supplement its at-home digital reading program to ensure that no child is left behind due to a lack of resources resulting from socio-economic status.

Your donations are not going toward a six or seven figure salary. Your donations are fixing the cavities that made a little boy quit eating, helping a father overcome addiction, preventing families from being evicted or losing their utilities, educating and feeding children in after-school programs, feeding the elderly, mentoring our youth and so much more!

In 2018, Forbes Magazine deemed United Way the #1 charity in America with a 91% fundraising efficiency.

When we reach out to a business for donations, we are not only asking the business to consider our work in the community but also the employees. Each dollar donated makes an impact whether it is $2, $20, $200 or $2,000. We would like to thank each and every supporter – you are the backbone of Mid-Plains United Way. We are only able to further our initiative to improve the quality of lives in our community because of you.

If you have questions, concerns or input regarding our organization, please reach out to Executive Director Alisha Forbes at (308)532-8870, or via our website contact page.

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