Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Twin County United Way?

It is a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization governed by a board of directors made up of a diverse group of local leaders.  The Twin County United Way’s mission is to identify needs, unify people and share resources to improve lives in Nez Perce (Idaho) and Asotin (Washington) counties. The United Way advances the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all.  Our focus is on education, income and health – the building blocks to a good quality of life.  We recruit people and organizations that bring passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done.  We invite you to join us.  You can give, you can advocate and you can volunteer.  That’s what it means to Live United!

Are my contributions tax deductible?

Yes. Contributions to the Twin County United Way are fully tax deductible; see your tax professional for more information.

When does the Twin County United Way Campaign run?

The campaign kicks off on Wednesday, September 14, at the Quality Inn in Clarkston at a Twin County United Way-sponsored Lewis Clark Valley Chamber monthly luncheon. Then, local businesses run campaigns at a time that is convenient for them.  The United Way encourages donations to be committed between September and the end of the year.  For the purpose of achieving our annual goal, we count donations brought in through the first quarter of the year following the fall campaign.  But, of course, we’ll take a donation anytime – year round!

What are my options for making a contribution?

There are many options to make it convenient and easy for you to give. You can give a one-time or ongoing donation via payroll deduction if your employer allows this option.  We also accept cash, check, credit cards and automatic bank withdrawal.  For credit card purchases, you can select to have your card charged once, once a quarter (4x per year) or once a month (12x per year). For automatic bank withdrawal, you can select a one-time or monthly withdrawal.  You may also request to be billed once, once a quarter or once a month. (Please note the $50 minimum requested for the “bill me” option, ongoing credit card charges or automatic bank withdrawal option.)

Is there a minimum donation?

There are no minimums for cash, check or payroll deduction contributions. (Some employers may require a minimum for payroll deduction, please speak to your payroll department for specifics.)  If you are selecting to receive bills, ongoing credit card charges or automatic bank withdrawal, a $50 minimum is requested.  If you are also making designations to specific charities, a minimum $50 donation per organization is also preferred.

What credit cards do you accept?

We accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express.  You can select to have your card charged once, once a quarter or once a month.  A minimum donation of $50 is preferred for credit card transactions.

What if I can only give a small amount?

Regardless of the amount of the donation, we use all the donated funds to create leverage. The United Way and its partner nonprofits leverage the power of many.  We Live United!  It is the collaboration of nonprofits, supported by passionate people and volunteers to make the most of every donation.  We don’t rely on a few donors – we rely on thousands of donors, each giving an amount that works for them.  When we each give some, we pool our resources to make a big impact in our communities.

Does the money raised stay local?

Yes.  Resources raised in Nez Perce and Asotin counties stay in Nez Perce and Asotin counties.

What are the advantages of investing in United Way? (Why should I invest in the community through United Way when I could just give directly to a local nonprofit?)

The United Way is unique in our ability to address the complexity of challenges in our community.  Education, income and health are not experienced in silos – they are integrated and solutions to solve issues need to be integrated, too.  Actions to build a stronger community need to be focused and coordinated. The United Way helps do that. All programs funded through United Way’s Community Fund, must be sound human service that addresses a community need, maintain financial records in accordance with the “Standards of Accounting and Financial Reporting for Voluntary Health & Welfare Organizations” and produce measurable outcomes and results.

This ensures your investment is being used efficiently and effectively as it was intended – to help solve issues facing out community and create opportunities for people to live successful and healthy lives. Plus, all we ensure all nonprofits funded are in good standing the with IRS, are in compliance with the spirit and intent of the USA PATRIOT Act and other counterterrorism laws, and comply with federal, state and case law regarding nondiscrimination standards.

Why should I give to the Twin County United Way Community Fund?

Giving to the Community Fund ensures your donation is going where it is needed the most in our community – and to programs that are working locally to advance education, income and health.  The Twin County United Way believes these focus areas are the building blocks to a good quality of life.  We vet the organizations receiving these funds and fund the programs that have the greatest potential for impact.  We also require check-ins and reports to ensure the dollars are being used on the programs for which the funds were intended.  Plus, because the grants from the Twin County United Way Community Fund are two-year grants, nonprofits can use them to budget and achieve longer-term goals.

Who makes the decisions as to what area programs receive funding and how much? Volunteers and community citizens – just like you – make those decisions. Twin County United Way pulls together a volunteer Community Investment committee, which is made up of United Way donors, board members, community members and local stakeholders. The volunteers learn about the community’s greatest needs and then review applications, budgets, plans and needs from the nonprofits. The panels then deliberate and provide a final recommendation for which programs will receive funding. Once those recommendations are made, they are sent to the United Way Board of Directors for final approval. Community investment = the greatest impact!

I haven’t ever used United Way services. Why should I give? United Way funded programs and services help everyone. Lives are complex and so is our community – we are all impacted by each other.  A popular misconception is that only the jobless and truly “at-risk” individuals benefit from United Way and its nonprofit partner programs. Every type of person has problems and needs, some of which are finding affordable childcare, early childhood education, marital problems, troubled teens, aging parents and individuals with special needs. United Way services are available to all. Your United Way contribution helps your coworkers, friends, neighbors, family and you.

Can I pick a focus area for my gift?

Yes, you can select education, income or health.  Education grants focus on helping children and youth achieve their potential through education.  Income grants are used to promote financial independence.  Health grants fund programs that improve people’s health though preventative action and access to care.

Can I pick a specific charity?

Yes.  Designations must be made to a 501(c)3 nonprofit that is registered with the IRS.  If you choose to give through the United Way to another organization, your designated gift must be at least $50.  Gifts less than $50 will be redirected to the United Way Community Fund.

What is the Harvest Club?

Harvest Club is a lead group of donors that have pledged an annual contribution of more than $1,000.  Gifts above $5,000 are “Cream of the Crop.”

 What is the Tocqueville Society?

The Tocqueville Society is a United Way Worldwide group of donors who have committed to a $10,000 or higher annual gift.

 What are Corporate Champions?

Corporate Champions are local businesses that have agreed to help cover the administrative costs of the Twin County United Way.  This helps ensure that more of each donor’s dollar goes directly to programs and services.

Do Corporate Champions cover 100 percent of the administrative costs? 

It is ALWAYS the goal of Twin County United Way.  Each year, we try to secure enough Corporate Champions to cover ALL administrative costs.  Many years they have covered 100 percent.  Some years, it isn’t 100 percent.

If I designate my gift to a specific charity, will administrative costs be taken out of my donation?

No. If you make a donation to a specific charity, no administrative costs will be taken out by the Twin County United Way.  We do account for pledge loss on all gifts, except those to other United Ways.

What is pledge loss?

Although people intend to give the money, for a variety of reasons (job changes, death, personal financial changes) some can’t meet their pledge. Because of this, we can’t base budgets on the total amount pledged.  So, we pick a pledge loss amount that will cover what we expect to not collect each year. This pledge loss amount is based on the average of actual pledge loss over the past several years. Pledge loss for 2016 is set at three percent (3%) of each gift.

Does the Twin County United Way have an endowment and/or planned giving options?

Yes. These options help the Twin County United Way well into the future. Simply call the Twin County United Way office at (208) 743-6594 or e-mail TCUW executive director, Sam Skinner, at sskinner@tcuw.org to discuss.

Are there other giving options?

Yes.  We have options for donating securities, real estate or other properties. Donors may also make gifts of stocks and bonds, as well as gift of life insurance policies. Simply call the Twin County United Way office at (208) 743-6594 or e-mail TCUW executive director, Sam Skinner, at sskinner@tcuw.org to discuss.

 How do I contact the Twin County United Way?

The Twin County United Way is located at 2207 E. Main Street in Lewiston, Idaho.  Our office is open from 9 a.m. to

3 p.m. daily.  The mailing address is P.O. Box 1660, Lewiston, ID 83501.  E-mail inquiries can be sent to tcuw@tcuw.org. The general inbox is checked daily. The Twin County United Way office phone number is (208) 743-6594 and the office fax number is (208) 743-7004.  You may also contact the Twin County United Way executive director, Sam Skinner, directly via e-mail at sskinner@tcuw.org or by cell phone at (208) 305-1379 – call or text is OK.

What is the best way to stay connected with the Twin County United Way?

On social media.  We have an e-newsletter, a website, two Facebook pages – one for Twin County United Way and one for our Women’s Leadership Council, an Instagram account at @tcuw and hashtag #TCUW. We’re also on Twitter @TwinCountyUW.