FAQs

Why give to United Way of Greater Houston?

United Way transforms individual lives and brings long-lasting, systemic change to big problems, like family financial stability, education and the quality of life for returning veterans. United Way remains focused on embracing the entire circle of life, developing children and youth to their full potential, strengthening families and neighborhoods, sustaining senior independence, and supporting those who are rebuilding their lives.

Before investment decisions are made, we study the needs in our community, issues facing our neighbors, efforts to address the needs and the potential for impact.

Guided by our strategic plan, Vision 20:20, our investments go to services that achieve impact and are focused on supporting the safety net, transforming lives and creating systemic change.

Investment decisions are made by trained volunteers, and approved by our volunteer Board of Trustees. United Way’s Community Investment process addresses all aspects of an agency’s operations and program delivery. It includes financial analysis, program evaluation and site visits to each agency by trained volunteers. Programs are continuously monitored for effectiveness. You can rest assured that there is transparency and good stewardship throughout the process.

Our Mission: United Way of Greater Houston engages caring people to improve lives and build a stronger community.

Who governs United Way of Greater Houston?

United Way of Greater Houston is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees made up of local business and community leaders. The United Way Board determines policy and oversees every aspect of the organization.

Is my gift to United Way tax deductible?

Your United Way gift is deductible on Schedule A of the Form 1040 if you choose to itemize deductions. Please consult your tax advisor regarding IRS rules that may apply in your individual situation.

What geographic area does United Way of Greater Houston serve?

Our service area includes Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery and Waller counties and also includes the Clear Lake and Baytown areas of Houston.

What is United Way’s overhead percentage?

United Way of Greater Houston is proud to maintain an overhead of 12 percent, far below the Better Business Bureau’s 35 percent guideline for nonprofits. Our overhead covers our operating expenses, but it also enables us to generate value we believe is worth much more.

Does United Way of Greater Houston support Planned Parenthood?

United Way of Greater Houston does not and has never funded Planned Parenthood. There are 1,100+ community-based United Ways across the country and each is separately incorporated and independently governed by local volunteers. Funding decisions are made by each community-based United Way. You can find a list of all of the agencies whose services United Way of Greater Houston invests in, as well as our grantees, here: https://www.unitedwayhouston.org/about/united-way-agencies-grantees/.

What is the difference between United Ways across the country?

There are 1,100+ community-based United Ways across the country and each is separately incorporated and independently governed by local volunteers. Many of these organizations are similar in their mission and structure, but some are very different.

United Way of Greater Houston pays a voluntary membership contribution for the rights to use the United Way name and logo, and to support broader community impact goals through United Way Worldwide provides training, development and national campaign services to local United Ways.

Contributions made in our area stay here and decisions about which programs to invest in and which partnerships to pursue are made here in our local community by unpaid volunteers.

Does United Way of Greater Houston support the Boy Scouts?

Yes. United Way of Greater Houston invests in both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts because they provide quality programs that have been proven to make a difference in the lives of young people.

There are 1,100+ community-based United Ways across the country and each is separately incorporated and independently governed by local volunteers. Funding decisions are made by each community-based United Way. You can find a list of all of the agencies whose services United Way of Greater Houston invests in, as well as our grantees, here: https://www.unitedwayhouston.org/about/united-way-agencies-grantees/.

What is 2-1-1 Texas/United Way HELPLINE?

2-1-1 Texas/United Way HELPLINE is a free, confidential helpline operated by United Way of Greater Houston 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Our trained HELPLINE specialists offer the most up-to-date resources available and provide assistance in more than 150 languages. 2-1-1 Texas/United Way HELPLINE is the largest helpline of its kind in the country and is one of our community’s most powerful resources for addressing social service needs. In 2016, our HELPLINE specialists answered nearly 973,000 calls for help. If you or someone you know needs help, dial 2-1-1.

Who should I contact if I have a question about United Way of Greater Houston?

If you have any questions regarding United Way of Greater Houston, please call us at 713-685-2300 or email unitedwayofgreaterhouston@unitedwayhouston.org.