What is the United Way of the Flint Hills?

United Way is a local, non-profit organization meeting local needs in Chase, Coffey, Greenwood, Lyon, Morris, Osage and Woodson Counties as well as Wabaunsee zip codes 66423, 66431 and 66507. United Way identified issues facing our community's residents, and we seek solutions to those problems. We believe that everyone deserves opportunities to have a good life: a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family through retirement, and good health. We invite our community to join us in Living United by donating or volunteering at United Way or one of our Community Partner agencies.

We partner with local organizations that have proven track records in improving lives. Most widely known related to this is our Community Partner grants. However, much of our impact is realized through several of our own initiatives and programs, such as our much-beloved Dolly Parton's Imagination Library and other local advocacy work around issues such as the need fvor homeless services and disaster recovery.

Established in 1938 by local business leaders, we have been striving to improve the lives of everyone in our community since then.  We are registered with the Internal Revenue to be a 501(c)(3) organization for tax deductible giving as well as with the Kansas’s Secretary of State office as a non-profit organization.

What is the Mission of United Way of the Flint Hills?

Building a vibrant community by focusing on education, income, and health.

Is United Way of the Flint Hills really local and independent?

Yes! Our board and staff members as well as our volunteers are YOUR NEIGHBORS. We have our own by-laws and policies set by our board of directors. The work of our volunteers is important to helping our board decide how to use the donations our community provides. United Way is an affiliate of United Way Worldwide (UWW) and pays an annual fee  for use of the name, logo, benefits of national advertising and the work done among top corporations to promote local giving. We are not governed by UWW rules or decisions, although we endorse and comply with UWW’s emphasis on open, honest accounting of receipts and disbursements.

Does United Way of the Flint Hills receive donations outside of our coverage area for use here?

Yes.  UWFH receives many donations and support from organizations and individuals throughout the United States.  We receive donations from many companies whose employees have ties to the area and from individuals who would like to continue their support of the community. We also use many grants to help diversify our revenue streams so we can help generations to come.

How do you choose your Community Partner agencies that receive grants?

Community Partners are agencies whose missions align with United Ways' . Partners submit grant applications for programs that help improve education, health, and financial stability of Flint Hills residents. Applications clearly describe why the program is needed in the Flint Hills and how they will solve the need, and include financial documentation such as budgets and audits to ensure the agency is fiscally sound and will use funds in a responsible manner. Our Community Investment Committee (CIC), made up of Flint Hills residents, reviews applications, interviews Partners, and learns all they can about the programs presented to them. To finalize their process, the CIC makes their recommendations to the board for investment in high-quality, effective programming.

To find out more about becoming a CIC member, email Daphne Mertens at daphne@uwfh.org.

How do we know what agencies do with the monies they receive?

Since potential donors cannot reasonably interview and investigate each community agency serving their neighbors, United Way has an investment and reporting process that ensures fiscal responsibility and helps meet the needs of our community. Community Partners submit mid-year and end of year reports to ensure that funds are utilized responsibly and programming is having an impact on community needs. 

Does the money I give to United Way of the Flint Hills go to other areas?

100% of the funds raised in our community stay in our community to improve the lives of our neighbors. Funds awarded to agencies serving multiple counties may be used only for services in Chase, Coffee, Greenwood, Lyon, Morris, Osage, Wabaunsee, and Woodson counties.

How does United Way ensure that donated funds are actually paid out as intended?

Records of donor identity and the amount and type of donations are maintained on the United Way of the Flint Hills donor management system, which reports totals of designations and contributions. In addition, United Way utilizes effective accounting systems, a finance committee, and an outside bookkeeper.

How can I donate to United Way of the Flint Hills?

Interested donors can support the United Way year round whether that is through their workplace, campaign, cash, check, credit card, or ACH donations.  Giving is easy, go to www.uwfh.org/donate to set up your reoccurring or one time donation.

Can I get a receipt or an acknowledgement for my donation?

Yes; UWFH will provide a receipt for donations or designations upon request.

Does United Way of the Flint Hills ever give to non-Partner agencies?

Yes. UWFH has other grant opportunities for which other nonprofit organizations can receive a grant, like our Emerging Needs grant or United for Racial Equity grant.