About the United Way

How does United Way help my community?

United Way's fundraising efforts support non-profit organizations that help people from all walks of life. The variety of the non-profits supported by the Kewanee Area United Way reflects the diversity of Kewanee area residents.

Chances are that you, a family member, a friend, or a neighbor has benefited from programs that receive funding from the United Way campaign. For example, United Way agencies include after school programs, tutoring, help in improving the independence and quality of life for older individuals, services and training for individuals with disabilities, home delivered meals, food pantries, mental health counseling, a safe haven for victims of domestic and sexual abuse, support services for those touched by trauma, grief, neglect, loss, abuse, and at-risk youth, children and families, home repair to qualifying existing homeowners, mental health public awareness and suicide prevention training and more. 

What do we mean by the 'Kewanee area?

The Kewanee area in the context of the Kewanee Area United Way is the greater part of Henry and Stark counties. This means that we serve so much more than the town of Kewanee where our office is located. The towns this office serves (with monthly support of member agencies) are: Annawan, Atkinson, Bishop Hill, Bradford, Cambridge, Castleton, Galva, Hoopole, Kewanee, Lafayette, Speer, Toulon, and Wyoming. Our member agencies provide services to clients in all of these areas.  And that is how we are the Kewanee Area United Way!

What makes the United Way unique?

Kewanee Area United Way (KAUW) consists of a far-reaching network of many agencies that assist people in Henry and Stark counties - your neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family. Through the benevolence of the great people in Henry and Stark counties, KAUW works throughout each year to raise funds for all of our partner agencies.  This assures that many agencies receive much needed funded.  Funding through KAUW is considered local funding and may also be used to help meet the requirement for local funding for grants from the state and federal governments or other funding sources.  Our time-tested experience in working with local non-profits allows us to raise money for many initiatives simultaneously.

Through the Kewanee Area United Way, resources meet needs in an efficient manner to provide help when it's needed most.

Contact us to learn how you can help the Kewanee Area United Way meet the needs of those in our area. We are incorporated as a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization and incorporated in the state of Illinois.  

How do non-profits benefit from United Way affiliation?

First, our non-profit partners can take advantage of United Way's consolidated fundraising efforts, which give them a dependable source of annual funding and improve their operational efficiency.

Second, their United Way affiliation raises their visibility in the private and public sectors, improving their chances to win grants and other vital financial support. Additionally, coordination of services is facilitated by the interaction between KAUW Agency Partners.  And...finally, United Way gives them access to crucial planning resources, so they can determine how their programs can best serve the public.

How do non-profits become affiliated with United Way?

Each year, organizations must apply to be promoted in our campaign, and, in keeping with United Way's high standards of integrity and accountability, must meet strict criteria for approval, including:

  • Observe and practice a policy of non-discrimination, racial equity and inclusion in all programs and services.
  • Have an active governing body.
  • Account for its funds according to GAAP and submit an independent audit.
  • Prepare an annual report to be submitted to KAUW by January 31 of each year.
  • Use of KAUW grants must be used for the purpose submitted in the application for funding.
  • Have a substantial presence in the geographical area covered by the Kewanee Area United Way. 

Why give to United Way and not give directly to an individual non-profit?

There are two key reasons to give to United Way rather than directly to a non-profit.

  • First, United Way's annual campaign efforts give area non-profits a reliable source of funding. Instead of allocating precious and scarce resources to solicit individual contributions, these organizations can count on United Way to cost-effectively promote and administer a single campaign that raises money for many causes at once. While our non-profit partners may have additional sources of income - such as foundation grants, events, and government assistance - United Way donations provide the crucial funds for their services and programs.
  • Second, and more importantly, your United Way gift is an investment in a powerful network of interconnected programs and services. No one non-profit organization stands alone. The value of your donation has a "snowball effect," giving it a system-wide impact. For example, say you gave directly to a women's shelter, which uses that money to provide much-needed food and clothing to its patrons. But what about when a resident of the shelter needs a job? Or a car to get to her job? When you donate to United Way, your contribution also goes to programs that can help her find work, transportation, permanent housing, child care, and more. It takes a system of support to help her get back on her feet. By donating to United Way, you strengthen that system. And by strengthening the system, you strengthen your entire community.

How can I be sure that my donation will be used efficiently and effectively?

We understand that your donation represents more than money - it shows your trust in our organization and our ability to serve the community. Because the value of that trust is priceless, Kewanee Area United Way has:

  • Committed experienced management at all levels of the organization.
  • A volunteer Board of Directors responsible for oversight over the entire organization; ensuring cost containment.
  • Code of Conduct, adopted and signed by all staff and volunteers.
  • Tight financial controls and procedures.
  • A reasonable overhead, reflecting a tight control of expenses.
  • Kewanee Area United Way's mission: "...is to increase the organized capacity of people to care for one another.”

Is my gift tax deductable?

Yes; in most cases you must have a receipt for your donation to meet IRS requirements. If you donate to United Way via payroll deduction, keep your pay stubs as your receipts. If you make a donation of $250 or more, you'll receive a tax receipt letter from United Way reflecting the amount of your gift. Contact a tax professional for the various ways that donations may help both the individual and the Kewanee Area United Way.

How much of my United Way donation goes to programs and services?

United Way has a long tradition as the leader in low-cost community impact! Our proven consolidated fundraising concept, combined with the generous efforts of our campaign volunteers, helps us maintain low costs and high efficiency. As much as possible, KAUW works with donated services and volunteers to keep administrative fees as low as possible.  Although nationally administrative fees across most non-profit 501(c)3 organizations, range from 10-40%; the Kewanee Area United Way strives to keep overhead expenses as close to 14% as possible.  The rest goes directly into community services and programs that improve, transform and even save lives. This policy applies to all designated and undesignated donations.

Please visit www.kauw.org for more information on Partner Agencies and to donate.