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Commonly Asked Questions

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How does United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona improve our community?

United Way of Tucson focuses on the following impact areas:

  • The Education Impact Area focuses on improving educational and life outcomes for children, youth and young adults by advancing equity and excellence in education, ensuring that our community’s children are prepared to enter school ready to learn and succeed; and are in safe places after-school with caring adults.
  • The Financial Wellness Impact Area focuses on improving the equity of employment and financial wellness outcomes of adults and families for life-long well being by creating stable and successful families, providing assistance to connect our community’s families to the resources they need to remain self-sufficient and to ensure that their members are safe and free from violence.
  • The Healthy Communities Impact Area focuses on providing equitable access through education and resources to improve the quality of living and dying for older people and their families.

How can I make the biggest difference with my donation?

You can make the greatest impact on important issues facing our community by investing in United Way’s Community Impact Fund. This fund creates long-lasting impact for those who need it most right here in our local community – children, families and seniors.

What does "Community Impact" mean?

Community impact occurs when organizations from different sectors agree to solve a social problem using a common agenda and a structured form of collaboration. In contrast, isolated impact occurs when organizations primarily work alone to solve social problems. Organizations have been implementing community impact for a long time. Successful collective impact collaborations include 5 conditions to ensure success:

  1. Common Agenda
    All participants share a vision for change that includes a common understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving the problem through agreed-upon actions.
  2. Shared Measurement
    All participating organizations agree on the ways success will be measured and reported, with a short list of common indicators identified and used for learning and improvement.
  3. Mutually Reinforcing Activities
    A diverse set of stakeholders, typically across sectors, coordinate a set of differentiated activities through a mutually reinforcing plan of action.
  4. Continuous Communication
    All players engage in frequent and structured open communication to build trust, assure mutual objectives and create common motivation.
  5. Backbone Support
    An independent, funded staff dedicated to the initiative provides ongoing support by guiding the initiative’s vision and strategy, supporting aligned activities, establishing shared measurement practices, building public will, advancing policy and mobilizing resources.

What is United Way's role in Community Impact?

United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona’s mission is, “Building a thriving community by uniting people, ideas and resources.”

United Way of Tucson is a backbone organization, possessing the infrastructure necessary to achieve large-scale social change by being a problem solver, focusing on eliminating the root causes of poverty in our region that lead to hunger, crime, homelessness, drug abuse, unemployment and missing school. These things affect us all in one way or another and we all know people – friends, neighbors, family members, coworkers – who have been significantly impacted by some of these challenges. We invest in the areas that will achieve the greatest impact in our community.

We all win when a child succeeds in school, a neighborhood turns around, families have good health, and workers have solid jobs. And we believe education is the key to developing and sustaining healthy, financially stable, self-sufficient communities.

Is my United Way contribution tax deductible?

Arizona Charitable Tax Credit – Helping The Working Poor:

United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona is a qualifying organization for the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit, which provides a dollar-for-dollar tax credit of up to $421/individual or $841/couples. This fund supports job-skills training, affordable childcare, educational opportunities, emergency services and more, to the Working Poor in our community. The code needed to claim the Qualifying Charitable Organization tax credit for an umbrella organization is 20726.

Do I have to itemize my deductions to claim a tax credit?

For your Arizona State Income Taxes, no, you do not have to itemize deductions to claim a credit for contributions to the Helping The Working Poor Fund, a qualifying charitable organization (use AZ 301 & AZ 321 forms). Taxpayers filing as “single” and “head of household” status may claim a maximum credit of up to $421. Taxpayers that file as “married filing joint” may claim a maximum credit of $841. Taxpayers filing as “married filing separate” may claim 1/2 of the credit allowed on a joint return. There are certain limitations, so, please consult your tax advisor.

What is the Helping the Working Poor Fund?

The Helping the Working Poor Fund helps provide working poor individuals with the tools they need to help themselves. Contributions to the United Way Helping the Working Poor Fund may be eligible for up to a $421 state tax credit for those filing individually, and up to $841 for those filing jointly. The code needed to claim the Qualifying Charitable Organization tax credit for an umbrella organization is 20726. Consult your tax advisor for details.

How does United Way make sure its partners are using my gift wisely?

Your investment is allocated through a comprehensive assessment process to initiatives and partner agencies committed to reducing duplication of administrative structure and service overlap among nonprofits in our community. United Way staff does not decide where the money will go. Needs are identified through engagement with our community coalitions and funding decisions and accountability are guided by a board-approved strategic plan. Our board of directors reviews and approves the recommendations. The initiatives United way of Tucson funds are held accountable to quantifiable results and measurements as well as a comprehensive list of standards.

The Community Impact Fund supports programs at our 80+ partner agencies, achieving the greatest impact in our community. For every dollar invested in United Way of Tucson’s Community Impact Fund, we secure more than $5 in local, state and federal grants and volunteer support to fight poverty right here in our community.

What if I want to give a portion of my gift to another agency?
A minimum donation of $250 is required for each designation, or it will revert to United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. Designations must be to a 501(c)(3) organization or another United Way.

There is no fee to designate to United Way of Tucson or our Impact areas: Education, Financial Wellness, Healthy Communities or Helping The Working Poor. When you designate a portion of your gift to another agency, United Way charges a 15% administrative fee to cover the costs of processing the transaction.

If you have not provided sufficient information for your agency designation, your designation will be redirected to United Way’s Community Impact Fund.

If the agency you choose is ineligible and your designation is $250 or more, United Way will notify you so that you may redirect your investment. If we do not get a response, it will revert to United Way’s Community Impact Fund.

If an agency you choose is eligible but becomes ineligible at any point in the distribution schedule – such as when an agency’s non-profit status is revoked or the agency goes out of business – United Way will direct the remaining portion of your gift amounts to the United Way’s Community Impact Fund.

If I designate my gift, when do you send my gift to the other agency?

Funds are distributed to designated agencies when a minimum of $200 is reached. This includes a collective total of many designations made by other individuals. This reduces costs to both the designated agency and United Way, making a greater impact with your gift. If a total of $200 is not reached during the year, a check for the balance will be sent to the agency.

Who are United Way’s community partners?

You can make the greatest impact on important issues facing our community by investing in United Way’s Community Impact Fund. This fund creates long-lasting impact for those who need it most right here in our local community – children, families and seniors.

Community Impact funds are used where the need is greatest, in a way that’s most useful. Through grants and volunteer support, $1 donated to the Community Impact Fund has a return of more than $5 for our community and supports our partner agencies.

What happens if I change jobs or become unemployed while giving through payroll deduction?

Your payroll deduction stops when you no longer work for the employer where you made your payroll deduction pledge. When you begin your new job, ask for a new United Way pledge form. Many employers provide pledge forms and information about United Way to new employees and transferees. If your new employer does not have a United Way payroll deduction plan, please call United Way at 520.903.9000 to arrange to continue your pledge payment.

If you become unemployed, you are not obligated to pay the balance of your pledge. While we hope you will not become unemployed, United Way can assist you in finding job placement, re- employment training and other supportive services for you and your family.

How do I continue to support United Way after I retire?

Many contributors continue to support United Way after they retire and we hope you will too. The United Way system maintains lifelong partnerships with donors through the Continuum of Giving program, a broad array of giving options including gifts of appreciated stock, special gifts and a variety of planned giving opportunities. Your generosity of time, resources and skills is appreciated. United Way wants to continue partnering with you in making a significant difference in the lives of those who need it most. Through your continued leadership, United Way makes it happen.