What is Black River United Way?

  • Black River United Way is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) agency that works with volunteers, donors, and other local organizations to fight for the Disaster Preparedness, Recovery & Resilience; education; and Financial Stability of every person in every community of Georgetown and Williamsburg counties
  • Our mission is focused around Helping People & Improving Our Community
  • Our Values are Inclusiveness, Compassion, Integrity, Respect and Dignity and Positive Impact

Who runs Black River United Way?

  • All United Ways are locally run and governed in each community. Our staff works with knowledgeable, well-trained volunteers who are representative of our community here in Georgetown and Williamsburg Counties.
  • A volunteer-led Board of Directors sets policy and strategic direction.
  • Various volunteer committees oversee financial practices and provide counsel on operational issues.
  • The Chairman of the Board of Directors is Lori Beard, VP/Branch Manager South State Bank – Georgetown
  • The President of Black River United Way is Yolanda McCray.

When was Black River United Way chartered?

Black River United Way, founded under the name of Georgetown County United Way, was established in April of 1970. In 2014, to be more inclusive and to break down walls, Georgetown County United Way was changed to Black River United Way. The Black River, a source of life and recreation, flows between the two counties, connecting neighbors, businesses, family and friends. We are connectors! We are conveners! We are facilitators! We are the bridge that removes barriers!

What does Black River United Way do?

Black River United Way mobilizes volunteers, donors, and community partners to fight for the Education, Financial Stability, and Health of every person in our community. Together, our work is focused on:
• Early Grade Reading Success
• Family Self Sufficiency
• Disaster Preparedness/Recovery/Resilience

What does it cost to run Black River United Way?

• Our administrative and fundraising cost is 16.2% for the most recently filed 990 (6/30/17)
• Even though the Better Business Bureau guidelines suggest 65% of total expenses for charitable, non-profit
organizations be spent on program activities, we are committed to keeping our administrative expenses low.
• Overhead costs include important investments non-profits make to sustain and improve their work: investments in
training, planning, evaluation, internal systems, and a professional staff, as well as their efforts to raise money so
they can operate their programs. Other factors that contribute to non-profit performance include transparency, governance,
leadership, and results.

Which counties does Black River United Way serve?

  • Black River United Way is a regional organization, serving 2 counties. These counties are Georgetown and Williamsburg.
  • All programs that we fund help people in both counties. County wide information on funded programs is
    available from your United Way staff person and on our website at www.blackriveruw.org.

What is United Way Worldwide and how is our local United Way related to it?

United Way Worldwide is the leadership and support organization engaged in nearly 1,800 communities across
more than 40 countries and territories. It provides national media advertising including television Public Service
Announcements broadcast during the NFL football season. It also sets national impact goals and provides brand
leadership for local United Ways. Use of the United Way logo is based on United Way Membership Requirements
regarding governance and fiscal accountability. In addition, United Way Worldwide conducts a vast array of
research to assist member organizations in the development and implementation of their local community impact
agenda. United Way Worldwide DOES NOT provide funding of any kind to any programs, organizations, or any
local United Ways. Black River United Way pays 1% of its annual campaign dollars to United Way Worldwide
for dues.

How are dollars raised allocated in the community?

When you give your gift to Black River United Way, you are allowing local volunteers, representing all segments
of the community, to determine how to invest the money in the issues and areas that need it most, ensuring
our work is both focused on key goals while doing the most good for our entire community.

What’s the difference between an undesignated and designated gift?

An undesignated gift takes advantage of Black River United Way thorough, research-based program selection that gets the money to the issues and areas that need it most. You can also choose to direct your gift to any of our Community Impact Initiatives or collaborations centered around our work in Early Grade Reading, Family Self-Sufficiency, and Disaster Preparedness/Recovery/Resilience.
By completing a Specific Care Form and submitting it with the pledge for, a designated gift restricts your gift to a specific 501(c)3 non-profit health and human service agency:
• Designated gifts must be $100 or greater.
• Gifts of less than $100 will be directed to the general fund.
• These gifts will be adjusted for pledge loss and an administrative fee.
• Specific Care Forms must be turned in to your Campaign Coordinator with the pledge amount and signed by
the donor along with address and or email address by February 15th to be honored.

I don’t benefit, so why should I give?

You, a family member, friend or coworker may have already used the services of Black River United Way partner agencies, initiatives, and collaboratives without realizing it. We all win when children succeed in school, when families are financially stable, and when people have access to basic needs. When you support Black River United Way, you help to create lasting change for all in our community.

How is Black River United Way accountable to its donors?

In order to receive funding from Black River United Way, a partner agency program or organization must demonstrate that it is meeting strict accountability requirements:
• Be a tax exempt, non-profit corporation
• Be governed by a volunteer board whose members are elected and supported by trained, professional staff
• Have an annual, independent financial audit (Agencies with under $100,000 in revenue may have an independent review)
• Meet reasonable standards of financial responsibility and efficiency
• Quantify or measure the changes that the agency/program is making in the lives of the people it serves
• Provide programming in one of the three areas supported by Black River United Way—early grade reading success; family self-sufficiency; and disaster preparedness/recovery/resilience.

Who is ultimately responsible for the Partner Agencies?

While Black River United Way has standards for Partner Agencies, each agency is autonomous and is governed
by a Board of Directors. The agencies determine the programs they provide to the community and their criteria for
receiving services. Agencies are not totally funded by Black River United Way dollars and may depend on service
or membership fees for financial support.

Why are some community non-profits no longer Black River United Way Partner Agencies?

We have decided that we can’t be everything to everybody and sprinkling dollars that have no impact or large returns on the donors’ investment. Therefore, Black River United Way has diligently worked to ensure that the programs supported are a direct result of the needs of the community with the largest, measurable impact. This meant that some of our traditional partner agencies were no longer supported. However, we do supply other resources to them through the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, Americorps VISTA, SC211, Rx Cards, and leveraging outside resources.

How does an agency become funded by Black River United Way?

Agencies are funded by Black River United Way by invitation only to those that are working in the aforementioned areas. We scout those organizations and schools, watch their performance and collaboratively develop ways to improve and/or scale their reach; improve systems and processes; and leverage national resources using our United Way brand. United Way enters into contractual partnerships with agencies with the objective of achieving specific outcomes that address our community goals and impact areas.

What is United Way 2-1-1?

United Way 2-1-1 is your CONVENIENT COMMUNITY CONNECTION to information and resources including information related to basic needs services, child care services, consumer help, volunteer opportunities, crisis Intervention, health care, and more. A call to United Way 2-1-1 is free, confidential, and available 24/7!
Now you can also TEXT to connect a United Way 2-1-1 Resource Specialist, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. To connect during business hours, simply text your ZIP CODE to 898-211.

I know someone who asked for help and didn’t get it. Why?

Needs always exceed the dollars available to meet them, so unfortunately, some people don’t get the help they desire when needed because of limited resources.

If I know someone who needs help or assistance how do I get information about what is available?

The fastest way to find out what is available is to call Black River United Way’s 2-1-1. With just one phone call to 2-1-1 by cell or landline phone, anyone who needs help can speak with a caring, highly trained person who will listen, assess their needs, offer emotional support, and get them connected to the services that could meet their needs. Call specialists have access to a vast array of community and social service resources available in the counties and State. For more information, visit the SC 211 Community Services Directory at www.sc211.org, or simply call 2-1-1.

I have some time and I’d like to get involved in the community as a volunteer, but I don’t know where to start. Can Black River United Way help me?

We love our volunteers and are always in need of them. They are the heartbeat of all non-profit organizations.

To get started, please visit our website at www..blackriveruw.org for instructions on how to volunteer with
Black River United and other non-profit organizations in the area.

Does Black River United Way fund abortion?

NO, Black River United Way does not fund abortion or abortion services nor does any local United Way. Black River United Way does not provide funding for any agency which performs abortions or provides counseling on abortions. Black River United Way Partner Agencies do not refer individuals to abortion services as an option. All agencies receiving funding from Black River United Way, including 2-1-1, have strict policies of NOT
referring individuals to abortion services. Individuals calling for these services are referred to the yellow pages of the phone book.

Does Black River United Way fund Planned Parenthood?

  • NO, Black River United Way does NOT fund Planned Parenthood, has NEVER funded Planned Parenthood and WILL NOT fund Planned Parenthood in the future.
  • All United Ways are locally governed in each community. Out of nearly 1,200 local United Ways in the United States, only a small number less than 6%, provide support to Planned Parenthood. NO United Way funds are currently used, or have ever been used, to support abortion services.
  • Our national organization, United Way Worldwide, exists solely to provide marketing and training support
    to local United Ways.

Is my contribution tax deductible?

YES. Under IRS guidelines, the full amount of your gift, if paid, qualifies as a deductible charitable contribution. The IRS does, however, have guidelines for the documentation required to substantiate proof of payment: For gifts less than $250:

  • If paid with: Cash – Receipt from United Way
  • Checks or credit card – Canceled check or credit card receipt
  • Payroll deduction – Documentation from employer that indicates amount withheld AND Copy of your Pledge Form (we recommend maintaining this with your tax files), or W-2 showing amount withheld. For gifts more than $250, paid directly to United Way (non-payroll deduction)
  • A written acknowledgment and receipt from United Way specifying the gift and that no goods or services were provided in consideration of the contribution.

Does Black River United Way pressure people to give?

NO, Giving is a personal decision. Black River United Way has a strong policy against coercion. Whether a person gives to Black River United Way and how much the person chooses to give is up to the individual. Black River United Way does not support the use of threats or coercion of any kind.

I can’t afford to give to Black River United Way.

Every gift to Black River United Way, no matter its size, makes a difference in our community. Many people find that giving through payroll deduction allows them to make a contribution that fits their budget. One of the advantages of giving to United Way is being part of a community effort that combines all of our giving to multiply the impact.