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Frequently Asked Questions

What does United Way of Frederick County do?

In a sentence: United Way helps people.

United Way of Frederick County is a community change organization that works across the county to leverage resources, businesses, experts, and other service providers to improve people's lives. The essence of a prepared workforce and stable economy rests on our collective success in the areas of education, income, and health. United Way of Frederick County has been reaching out to the community for over 75 years, since 1938.

Why give to United Way of Frederick County?

United Way transforms individual lives and brings long-lasting, systematic change to big problems, like family financial stability, education, and quality of life. United Way remains focused on embracing the entire circle of life, developing children and youth to their full potential, strengthening families and neighborhoods, sustaining senior independence, and supporting those who are rebuilding their lives.

Before investment decisions are made, we study the needs in our community, issues facing our neighbors, existing efforts to address their needs, and the potential for impact.

Guided by our strategic plan, our investments go to services that achieve impact and are focused on supporting the safety net, transforming lives, and creating systemic change. Investment decisions are made by trained volunteers and approved by our volunteer Board of Directors.

United Way’s Community Investment process addresses all aspects of an agency’s operations and program delivery. It includes financial analysis, program evaluation and site visits to each agency by trained volunteers. Programs are continuously monitored for effectiveness. You can rest assured that the process is filled with transparency and good stewardship.

What is the United Way campaign?

United Way runs an annual workplace giving campaign in which donors make a monetary gift to the United Way of Frederick County to be granted to local nonprofit agencies in response to the community's most urgent social needs. Donors also have an option to designate a portion or all of their contributions to any nonprofit of their choice.

When you participate in your workplace giving campaign, you can choose to make a donation:

  • through payroll deduction
  • by cash or check as a one-time amount
  • by using any major credit card

How does payroll deduction work?

When you choose to make your United Way donation through a payroll deduction, an amount that you determine is taken out of your paycheck each pay period. Payroll deduction makes it easy to give a little from each paycheck, adding up to an annual gift that improves many lives.

How much should I give?

You should make your own decision about the amount based on your own particular financial situation and the significance you place on supporting your community. For a lot of people, $3, $5, $10, or $20 deducted from each paycheck is not noticed. Many elect to give 1% of their annual salary or the equivalent of one hour's pay per month, which makes for a generous and affordable gift. No matter how large or small, every gift is important, and 100% of your contribution stays right here in our community.

Suggested giving guide for your annual gift: (Contributions may be made in any amount)                                        

Annual salary

Average annual contribution based on 1% of annual salary

Suggested gift amount per pay period

through payroll deduction

24 pay periods

26 pay periods

52 pay periods

$20,000 – $30,000





$30,000 - $40,000





$40,000 - $50,000





$50,000 - $60,000





$60,000 – 70,000





$70,000 - $80,000





How can I make a leadership gift?

Any level of leadership gift ($500+) can be made through an individual one-time gift, payroll deduction, or with gifts of assets such as stocks, insurance policies, real estate, or a retirement fund.

If I live in Frederick County but work somewhere else, how can I give to United Way through my employee campaign?

You need to designate your donation by writing "United Way of Frederick County, Maryland" in the appropriate space on the pledge card your employer provides. Unless you actively designate your funds to come back to Frederick County, Maryland (there's a Frederick County in Virginia, too), they will automatically go to the county in which the campaign is being concluded.

How do I make a donation to United Way of Frederick County if I work for Frederick County Public Schools or the federal, state, county, or city government?

UWFC participates in several combined campaigns through which government and FCPS employees can donate to United Way of Frederick County, Maryland. These campaigns include the Combined Federal Campaigns (CFC) in Maryland, West Virginia, and the National Capital area, and the Combined Charities Campaigns (CCC) for Maryland, the Frederick County Government, the City of Frederick, and the Frederick County Public Schools. Ask your employer or contact us for more details.

More information about the CCC

More information about the CFC

Where does the money go once United Way receives it?

Money raised locally by people who live and/or work in Frederick County stays in the county to benefit this community. United Way is focused on issues of education, income (or financial stability) and health. We believe in using local dollars for local solutions. 

How does United Way determine how much money agencies receive?

Grant funding for eligible organizations must focus in at least one of the following areas: Education, Income and Health. Additionally, the recipient organization(s) must work in partnership to achieve measurable, community-level changes in those areas. Grant requests are reviewed by United Way of Frederick County volunteers comprised of board members and other community leaders. Many of the volunteers also serve on the Community Change Councils and are expert leaders in the areas of education, income, health, and the delivery of human services. This process ensures that your donation is being used responsibly and efficiently to address the most urgent needs each year.

When will my donation reach the organization I designated?  

United Way collects pledged donations from hundreds of businesses in the region.  Each business sends us those contributions on a different schedule: Some collect it from their employees and send it to United Way within a couple of weeks, while others send it quarterly or even bi-annually. Additionally, some donors commit to making a contribution but are unable to complete their donation. United Way pays out designated donations to organizations each quarter beginning on a fiscal year (typically July, October, January, and April.)  Even though your payroll contributions may begin in January, the first payment we make will be in July. This allows United Way to collect a sufficient amount of payments from the various businesses before making a payment to the organization. Additionally, it allows United Way to adjust the final payment in April based on what was actually collected during the calendar year.

Who runs United Way? Does it belong to any other company or agency?

United Way is governed by a local Board of Directors, comprised of individuals who live and/or work right here in Frederick County. United Way is local, independent, and autonomous. We are managed locally, not by a parent or national organization.

Who serves on the Board of Directors?

The Board of Directors is composed entirely of volunteers who serve without any compensation. Community leaders, business persons, entrepreneurs, bankers, insurance and investment professionals, retirees, and employees of local government, media, and academic institutions donate their time and resources to United Way in the effort to build a stronger, healthier, and more sustainable community. The list of current UWFC board members may be found here

What is United Way's relationship with United Way Worldwide or other United Way's in the country?

United Way of Frederick County is not an affiliate or chapter of any other organization. However, it does pay nominal annual dues to its trade association, United Way Worldwide (UWW) in exchange for access to training and administrative resources. UWW serves approximately 1,400 local, autonomous United Ways across the United States, providing training opportunities and a service center for sharing ideas and resources. In addition, UWW negotiates relationships with nationwide corporations, allowing the local United Ways to work more efficiently and effectively, helping local dollars to go farther.