United Way of the Wine Country has been dedicated to improving lives locally for 50 years. Everyone deserves a good life: a quality education that leads to a stable job, income that can support a family through retirement, and good health. To create lasting change, United Way focuses on solving the underlying causes of common problems related to education, income and health. We are committed to achieving lasting solutions - not just quick fixes - for our entire community.
There are two main ways United Way of the Wine Country invests dollars raised in our five county community. One way is through United Way led programs and initiatives such as School Readiness Backpacks, Schools of Hope and Earn It! Keep It! $ave It! We invest staff and organizational resources to coordinate, market, and evaluate these efforts. We also provides grant funding to our many partners involved in carrying out parts of the work. For instance, several partners are provided grant funding to coordinate volunteers for Schools of Hope such as the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County, North Coast Opportunities, and Sonoma Valley Education Foundation.
Another way we invest in the community is through direct designations. When talking about dollars invested, this is our largest category. In 2016-2017, we invested more than $1 million in funding to more than 400 local agencies.
United Way understands some donors choose to direct a portion of their gift to a specific agency. Although we process these donor-directed contributions as a service to our donors, United Way is unable to guarantee how designated funds to a specific agency will be used or ensure measurable results by the recipient agency. Any agency receiving designations must be a 501(c)(3) organization and must comply with the United States Patriot Act by submitting the proper documentation to United Way.
If you wish to make a designation to a specific organization, the following is required:
Designations made to agencies are sent in addition to any existing program funding provided by United Way. United Way does not pay the designated agency until the donor’s pledge payment is received by United Way. Once United Way receives payments on pledges to a designated agency, we pay the designated agency quarterly (i.e. July, October, January, & April). Donor names and gift details are forwarded to designated agencies unless the donor chooses to remain anonymous or if an employer does not provide United Way with detailed donor gift information.
In order to reimburse United Way for processing and fundraising expenses, a 16% processing fee is charged on all contributions designated to a specific agency. This percentage could vary slightly from year to year. The Charities Review Council’s recommended range for administrative and fundraising costs is 10% - 30% for responsible charities. Visit Charities Review Council for more information.
For complete financials, please refer to Financial Information.