The United Way of Central Oklahoma provides funding and support to dozens of non-profits in the greater Oklahoma City area. From mental health to early childhood and scouting programs, the Partner Agencies they help support represent all sides of our community in need. Every fall, they conduct an area-wide fundraising campaign.
We asked the United Way’s executive directory Debby Hampton to answer our questions, in hopes that this information will inspire our readers to give to the United Way to support all citizens, especially those most vulnerable.
- What is the purpose of the United Way?
United Way of Central Oklahoma is committed to improving the health, safety, education and economic well-being of individuals in central Oklahoma by connecting community resources with responsive and accountable health and human service agencies. Our vision is to be the leading organization in building a stronger, healthier and more compassionate community.
- Who and what organizations does the United Way support?
United Way of Central Oklahoma provides critical funding to 120 results-oriented programs at 58 accountable nonprofits across central Oklahoma that provide health and human services. We fund Partner Agencies that address community issues in five focus areas – strong families, successful kids, healthy citizens, independent living and community preparedness. View a list of our Partner Agencies here.
- How is the money raised divided among the recipients?
Each year, approximately 200 donor volunteers oversee a process we call Community Investment. They carefully assess funding requests from local programs requesting United Way funding. They review financials, meet with agency directors and visit facilities to view programs first-hand. Those volunteers then make funding recommendations to our Board of Directors who approve the distribution of funds.
- When does the annual campaign take place?
The bulk of our campaign runs Labor Day through Thanksgiving, but campaigns run through mid-January each year.
- How can I be sure that giving to the United Way really benefits the people they say they benefit?
The Community Investment process allows donor volunteers to see first-hand where their dollars are going. The process is a vital piece in keeping United Way and its Partner Agencies transparent and accountable. We also offer opportunities for donors throughout the year, such as our bus tours that allow participants to visit Partner Agencies to see the real work and impact their donor dollars have on the community.
- How can I donate?
The majority of United Way’s funding is raised by individuals who pledge through a workplace campaign. Many companies participate in payroll deduction which makes donating easy and efficient. We also have thousands of donors who are not affiliated with workplace campaigns. Individual gifts can be easily made online at http://www.unitedwayokc.org/donate.
If a company is interested in starting a workplace campaign or would like more information on corporate giving, we have helpful tools on our website.
We would also be happy to come speak to a group about different opportunities. They can call our campaign staff at 236-8441 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The United Way of Central Oklahoma has secured an impactful matching challenge gift. BC Clark Jewelers will match new gifts to United Way, up to $125,000, thanks to the B.C. Clark Family Fund of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. This generous challenge match means that every new dollar will double and so will the impact of each gift in the community. Donating is easy – text “125strong” to 41444
Editor’s Note: You can also go to this webpage to donate.