Frequently Asked Questions

Who actually runs the United Way of Deschutes County?
Volunteers. The United Way of Deschutes County is independent and is governed by its own thirty-five member volunteer board of directors. Additional volunteers are responsible for the fundraising campaign, the allocations process and Days of Caring—our annual helping-hands event.

Why is the United Way the best way to give?
Giving through the United Way of Deschutes County is a convenient way to help people who really need help in our community and the Corporate Cornerstone program ensures more of every dollar you give will go directly to where it’s needed most. If you are giving via a payroll deduction plan, you support community programs and services on a regular basis without having to provide funds all at once. And the money raised stays right here in Deschutes County. The United Way of Deschutes County also provides results—so you can see your money at work. And you can rest assured that volunteers have invested time and effort in the process of making sure the United Way is doing the best job they can for the one-in-three who will seek help in Deschutes County.

What percent of contributions goes to the agencies funded by the United Way of Deschutes County?
The United Way of Deschutes County strives to keep administrative and fundraising costs as low as possible...around 20 percent. Thanks to our Corporate Cornerstone program, through which community minded partners direct their annual gift toward administrative expenses, more of individual contributions go directly to funding agency programs and services, currently 90%.

How many partner agencies does the United Way of Deschutes County fund and what is the focus?
The United Way of Deschutes County currently funds 26 partner agencies. These agencies focus on our most urgent human social service needs: meeting basic needs of individuals and families, keeping children and families safe from violence and abuse, helping kids get a great start in life, and keeping youth on track for success.

What standards must partner agencies of the United Way of Deschutes County comply with in order to receive funding?
Each organization receiving funds from the United Way of Deschutes County must be a verifiable non-profit organization with a volunteer governing body; each must have its finances audited annually, provide a needed service at a reasonable cost, and have a policy of nondiscrimination, among other qualifications.

Who decides where the money goes once it is raised?
Volunteers—people like you—decide how much is distributed to each agency. The Community Impact Review Committee (CIRC) is responsible for the annual review of each agency. CIRC is comprised of volunteers representing all segments of our community; they work together to measure results, procedures, budgets and finances. The allocation of contributions to the United Way is a continuing review process to ensure that every dollar is spent wisely.

Can I choose a specific agency (ies) to receive my contribution?
Yes. Any 501(C)(3) non-profit organization can be designated. In addition to give to the cause you are passionate about, we encourage you to designate a portion to the Community Impact Fund—these dollars go to where they will make the most urgent impact in the community.

Besides raising funds, what activities does the United Way of Deschutes County engage in?
Research and assessment of community problems and needs; identification of emerging needs and promotion of new programs are all important to us. We also work behind the scenes to coordinate services and bring groups and resources together to find long-term solutions to issues affecting our community. We provide management and technical assistance to agencies.  Our signature event is Days of Caring—two days when agencies and volunteers come together to complete projects that need attention.  We sponsor the Central Oregon 2-1-1 helpline and distribute FamilyWize prescription discount cards.  Beginning in 2013 we will operate Take Credit, a tax preparation assistance program for low income households.

Tell me more about Central Oregon 2-1-1.
2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember telephone number that connects people to important community services and volunteer opportunities. This is the first number to call when you look for help; the service is free, confidential and available throughout Central Oregon. You can search for services online too!

How can I find out more about volunteering or get involved with Days of Caring?
You will find more information and sign-up forms for Days of Caring
here. Other volunteer opportunities can be found here. You can also call the United Way office at (541) 389-6507. Or contact us via e-mail: