The deadline for returning pledges for the United Way
of Central Maryland has been extended to this Friday, Dec.
8. The following answers to frequently asked questions
should help facilitate the decision for those still
considering a donation.
Q: What is different about United Way this year?
A: United Way is implementing a community impact
model to channel donations to nonprofit organizations that
work in the areas of Basic Needs, Family Safety, School
Readiness and Youth Achieving Potential. In doing so,
United Way hopes to create sustained long-term improvements
in Central Maryland. Johns Hopkins University goals in the
upcoming year are to provide, through Basic Needs,
counseling to 1,967 families to prevent foreclosure on
their homes; through Family Safety, 590 mothers and
children with a year of counseling to overcome abuse;
through School Readiness, 14,172 low-income children with
education on nutrition and fitness; and through Youth
Achieving Potential, 1,774 teens with education to prepare
for their future, improve their self-esteem and stay away
Q: How will this impact model help United Way
address the needs of the community?
A: By funding organizations that provide services
such as early childhood education, counseling, mentoring
and after-school programs, United Way hopes to address the
root causes of poverty, crime and drug abuse in our region,
an approach praised by university employees. Among those
concurring with this approach is United Way donor Marion
Pines, a distinguished fellow with the Institute for Policy
Studies. "United Way's focus on 'youth achieving potential'
is in line with my own work to address the serious problem
we have in this country of over 5 million young people
being out of work and out of school," she says. "The
programs funded through this focus, such as mentoring,
after-school services and counseling, can go a long way to
help at-risk youth."
Q: Where does the money go?
A: United Way of Central Maryland invests your
Community Impact Safety Net contributions in programs
throughout Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore,
Carroll, Harford and Howard counties.
Q: Can I designate my contribution for non-United
Way agencies and organizations?
A: While an undesignated dollar is still considered
by the United Way to be the best way to help the most
people, donors have the option of directing their gift to
any 501(c)(3) health or human service agency by writing in
the agency name and designation code on the pledge form. To
keep processing costs low, designating to an agency
requires a donation of at least $50.
Q: Can I exclude an agency from re-ceiving any of my
A: Donors have the option of excluding an agency
from receiving any part of their gift from the Community
Impact Safety Net by completing the exclusion section on
their pledge form.
Q: Is it better to give through payroll deduction?
A: Payroll deduction is the easiest way to
contribute, and it helps United Way keep administrative
costs low, so nearly all your contribution goes to help
people in need.
Q: How much is spent on campaign costs and overhead?
A: A force of volunteer workers helps keep United
Way of Central Maryland's overhead extremely low, making it
one of the most cost-effective charitable organizations to
which you can contribute. In fact, by offering online
pledging, United Way of Central Maryland is able to ensure
that 87.5 cents of every dollar goes directly to local
Q: I can't afford to give more than a dollar or two
a week. Does this really make a difference?
A: Every gift is important. When your gift is
combined with nearly 200,000 others, the impact really adds
up. Just ask Whiting School of Engineering staff member
Natalie Leonard, who has benefited from two United Way
agencies, the American Cancer Society and Meals-on-Wheels.
"Since I am a soon-to-be 13-year cancer survivor," she
says, "I like to think the money given to the American
Cancer Society has not only extended my life but someone in
the life of every Hopkins employee as well."
Q: Why choose the United Way Community Impact Safety
A: The Community Safety Impact Net is like an
"investment pool" built to address the issues our community
says matter most. It is the only giving option that allows
you to join with tens of thousands of others to focus our
resources where we can have the greatest impact. The
investment is needed: 473,000 Marylanders live in poverty,
only one in three Baltimore children were prepared to enter
kindergarten last year, there were nearly 3,500 cases of
child abuse or neglect in Central Maryland last year, and
more than 49,000 young adults in Maryland are not working
or enrolled in school.
Please give today. Pledge online at
www.jhu.edu/unitedway. Your contribution will help to
provide a better, brighter life for thousands of needy
families in Central Maryland.