Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I invest in United Way of Fort Smith Area?

A. United Way of Fort Smith Area (UWFSA) is committed to making the kinds of smart choices that can make our community a better place for all of us to live and work. We use our expertise and community connections to support thousands of people throughout our region in ways that make a genuine difference in their lives. We use our time and resources as efficiently as we can, to do as much as we can and to help as many people in as many ways as we can.

Why am I asked to give to United Way in my workplace?

A. United Way has always enjoyed a strong partnership with the business community. Organizations that host a workplace campaign understand that we all share a responsibility for the people and neighborhoods where we live, work and raise our families. Employees in our annual workplace campaign donate 54% to our campaign and inspire many volunteer hours that contribute to real and lasting progress throughout the community.

Why should I give to United Way in addition to my other charities?

A. Everyone should give to the charities that are closest to their hearts. But a gift to United Way will extend charitable giving by investing in the needs of the six counties UWFSA serves.

Why should I give to United Way instead of a direct service agency?

A. Again, we encourage people to give to all their charities including direct service agencies. However, United Way bases its funding allocations on a rigorous process that demands accountability from its partners. And we employ our resources and expertise to work closely with our partners so that together we will achieve real and lasting results in the communities we serve.

Who decides how much money goes to each program or service?

A. People just like you! Trained volunteers work on year-round committees called Allocation Councils to study our most serious problems and the best way to remedy them. Those volunteer groups decide where to allocate the funds, assess community needs through an extensive process and they then direct resources — money and volunteers — to the area where there are existing or emerging needs. United Way’s board of directors makes final funding decisions.

Does UWFSA provide funding to the Boy Scouts?

A. Yes. UWFSA continues funding programs of the Boy Scouts. We also support the Girl Scouts, Boys Shelter and the Girls Shelter.  The Allocation Council believes hundreds of local boys and girls greatly benefit from Scouting’s proven record of safe, structured programs.

What does United Way do with my donation?

A.  100% of donations collected during our annual campaign are invested back into the local community. None or your donations go to pay overhead for our Service Center or staff salaries. United Way can be this efficient because volunteer support keeps costs to a minimum. Annual campaign contributions are distributed each year through a vigorous allocation process. United Way’s mission is is to improve lives by connecting people and resources in our six-county area. We’re focused on critical issues like education, income and health.

Does UWFSA support abortion or fund Planned Parenthood?

A. No. UWFSA does not fund programs that deliver abortion services nor has it in the past. Planned Parenthood is not a member agency, so it receives no allocations or undesignated contributions.

How does an organization apply to receive funding from UWFSA?

A. When resources allow, UWFSA invites applications from organizations that demonstrate measurable results in addressing key issues our communities have identified as most important. United Way also helps to meet basic needs, such as food and shelter.