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Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I give to United Way instead of directly to an agency?

  • Giving through the United Way allows you to use payroll deduction and spread your gift over 12 months. Giving through United Way assures you that your contribution is carefully monitored by volunteers to make sure that the agency you support is spending its dollars wisely and is managed responsibly. You can support services to your Island County neighbors served by the 22 member agencies. One gift can help infants, families, emergency needs and seniors.
  • Our administrative costs are very low, in-fact, they are 16%. 25% is considered acceptable in the fields of social services

Why should I give through Island County, if contribution goes through my spouse's work in another county?

Your gift is appreciated, but dollars given through your work in another county may not help in Island County unless you designate United Way of Island County.

What if my employer cuts my hours and I cannot afford to give the money I pledged?

If your situation changes, your employer can adjust the amount being withheld from your paycheck.  If you give directly to United Way of Island County, a telephone call to us is all you need to make an adjustment.

I feel pressured to give at work and resent this.

You have every right to resent pressure to give. United Way of Island County does not want our contributors to feel pressured to give. We have a strong policy against coercion. If you feel you were pressured to give, please call our office and let us know.

What if I want all my money to go to one agency?

Just designate that agency on your pledge form. If the agency is not already a member of United Way of Island County, the agency must be a 501(c)3. Ask to be acknowledged and you can expect to receive a note of thanks from the agency you choose to support.

What if I don't want any part of my contribution to go to a certain agency?

Just write the name of that agency under the "negative designation" line on your pledge card.

Knowing that there is a great need to support families, what agency should I support?

Give to the Community Fund and volunteers will see that your contribution goes to meet that need if you indicate that interest on your pledge card.

Why should an agency want to be a partner member of United Way?

United Way agencies pass strict reviews of their financial management and the worth and legitimacy of their program. Even though agencies receive money from other sources, United Way funds are often the core of their yearly income. United Way membership is also an important endorsement of the quality of an agency.

How does United Way make funding for their services?

Volunteers review agency budget and service plans for human care needs. Information and agency visits are the basis for funding decisions.

Why do some agencies charge for their services?

United Way funded agencies are used by people at every income level and state of need. Even though United Way support is substantial, it covers only part of the average agency's needs. One way to cover this shortfall is by charging a fee to people who can afford to pay. Most United Way agencies have a sliding fee scale based on an individual's income level.

I only live on Whidbey/Camano part of the year, why should I give to Island County?

We ask that you remember that there are human service needs in Island County that go unmet each year because so many residents of the Islands live here only part-time and work in other counties. When you give at work, your entire gift stays to provide services in that county. Each United Way is independent and funds services for people living and using in their county. All are willing to see that a part or your entire gift returns to Island County if you make that request.


Copyright 2010-2016, United Way of Island County, all rights reserved.

United Way of Island County  350 SE Pioneer Way, Suite 101/P.O. Box 798; Oak Harbor, WA  98277
 Tel:  (360) 675-1778 - Fax: (360) 675-5157  Email: