Skip to Content
United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County


Main Content
Open AllClose All
What does United Way do with my contribution?

Contributions to United Way’s Community Fund and strategic focus areas (health, education, and financial stability) help solve community issues. This is done by investing in 220+ programs at over 110 local agencies.

Learn more about our impact and who we fund.

How does United Way select the programs it funds?

United Way focuses on our community’s most serious problems through strategic investments in health, education, and financial stability. Through in-depth research, United Way staff and community volunteers determine which agencies’ programs can best address these critical focus areas.

United Way’s Board of Directors approves funding annually based on priority alignment, program effectiveness and agency fiscal responsibility. Volunteers regularly monitor the agencies and programs to ensure that United Way invests only in programs that produce positive results through agencies that manage their money responsibly.

Learn more about requests for funding.

Who runs United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County?

A volunteer board of directors sets local United Way policies and works in partnership with a professional staff administering the day-to-day operations.

Learn more about United Way's staff leadership and board of directors.

How is United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County connected to United Way Worldwide?

United Way Worldwide is a global service organization that provides services and support to nearly 1,800 local, independent United Ways across the world. United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County has its own 501(c)(3) certification, is independently governed by a local board of directors and pays dues to United Way Worldwide. Money raised in our four-county region stays here, supporting local programs and helping local people.

Is United Way efficient with the money it raises?

United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County has been recognized nationally and locally for our high rate of efficiency and has received a four-star rating by Charity Navigator – its highest ranking.

We ensure that the most donor dollars are at work in our community, solving problems and helping people.

In addition, thousands of volunteers give generously of their time and talents to United Way each year, allowing us to minimize costs and keep administrative and fundraising expenses low.

Learn more about United Way's financial information.

Is United Way committed to diversity?

Yes, United Way reflects all the people who live and work in our community. From volunteers and donors, to staff and the people we help, United Way embraces and celebrates the diversity of our community, which makes us stronger as an organization and drives positive change in our community.

Why should I give to United Way’s Community Fund rather than designate my gift to a specific agency?

Donations to United Way’s Community Fund make the greatest difference and help the most people. United Way monitors results to ensure the programs are making an impact so you can be certain your money is well invested. In addition, your donation may qualify for matching funds, increasing the investment even more.

What is United Way’s guidance on designated contributions?
  • Any currently-funded United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County agency program partner
  • Any United Way organization in the United States
  • Any Community Health Charities-funded agency

Designations to organizations that are primarily cultural, recreational, religious, political, occupation-based, animal welfare, schools, grantmaking foundations and capital campaigns, as well as designations to organizations to meet previous or personal obligations such as tuition, pledges, dues or other membership costs are highly discouraged.

Gifts designated to specific agencies are not monitored by United Way and require a deduction of administrative fees where applicable. Designations are, however, counted as a part of the United Way campaign.

How does United Way handle designations?

United Way forwards donor designations to qualified approved agencies. All agencies, including United Way agency program partners, may use these funds at their discretion and use is not subject to United Way monitoring of funds or programmatic results. Designations to United Way agency program partners are paid out separately from and in addition to regular United Way program funding.

If you do not wish to have your contact information released to the agencies you designate, check the “Please do not release my name to agencies” box on the United Way pledge form or eWay site.

If I stop working for my current employer, what happens to my payroll-deducted pledge?

Since your employer will no longer be providing a paycheck from which to deduct your pledged amount, your contributions will end. Your pledge does not automatically get routed to your new place of employment or to your home address.

If you change jobs or are no longer working, please call United Way’s Finance Department at 414.263.8145 or contact us.  At that time, you can decide whether you are able to fulfill your original pledge, or whether you wish to adjust it. United Way offers individuals several options to fulfill your pledge. If you have switched jobs and your current employer runs a United Way campaign, it is possible to set-up payroll deduction through the new employer.

My spouse or partner gives for both of us, why should I give to United Way?

Donors have told us that one of the most significant benefits of personal giving is the feeling of being part of a collective effort to solve problems and make a difference in their community. That sense of community involvement comes from joining with fellow employees to support United Way at their workplace.

My family is on a tight budget, but we'd still like to give. Is there a minimum?

It’s not the size of one gift - it is all of us giving together that makes United Way a unique and powerful concept. Every donation matters! Over 50% of donors give $100 or less annually.

How can I add United Way to my estate plans?

Please contact Shemagne O'Keefe Mullins at 414.263.8202 or via email for more information about Planned Giving. It is easy to add United Way to your estate plans, and there are many types of planned gifts, all of which can have significant tax benefits. Through bequests, life insurance, charitable trusts or retirement benefits, you can make an investment in United Way's future.

Estate gifts are invested in United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County's board-designated endowment fund. The Board of Directors makes distributions from the endowment as needed to support the work of United Way. Other endowment funds can be created for a specific purpose with a gift of $25,000 or more.

Learn more about Planned Giving.

Can I claim a tax deduction for my United Way contribution?


What documentation do I need to claim a tax deduction?

Please see general answers below. In addition, donors should consult their tax advisors for more specific guidance.

  • Payroll Deduction: For contributions through payroll deduction, your final year-end paycheck and copy of your pledge form will substantiate your total United Way contribution for the year.
  • Check: For contributions to United Way by check, your cancelled check is your receipt. For contributions of $250 or more, United Way will automatically provide you with a letter stating that no goods or services were given to you in exchange for your contribution. This letter will be provided to you no later than January 31 of the year following the gift. For contributions of less than $250, United Way will provide a similar letter at the request of the donor.
  • Stock: For contributions of stock, United Way will automatically provide you with a letter communicating the amount of the charitable deduction and confirming that no goods or services were given to you in exchange for the contribution.
Will I receive a tax receipt for my donation?

United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County provides tax receipts for donations of $250 or more. Tax receipts are mailed by January 31 for the prior year's donations.

If a stock donation is made, a separate receipt will be mailed within 30 days of United Way receiving the securities.

Please note, United Way does not provide a tax receipt for donations made via payroll deduction. Your year-end paystub along with your online pledge acknowledgment or a copy of your pledge form should be retained to substantiate your donation.

Tax receipts for foundations and corporations are provided upon request.

Is my United Way payroll deduction contribution deducted from my pre-tax or after-tax pay?

It is typically deducted from after-tax pay.

Can I give a stock gift?

Yes, any marketable security traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange or over the counter may be contributed to United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County.  If you wish to make a stock contribution, please contact Bob Malicki at 414.263.8143.