FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What does United Way of Southern Illinois (UWSI) do?
What's our territory?
How is our territory divided?
Who runs UWSI?
What's the relationship between UWSI & United Way Worldwide?
What happens when people donate to United Way in our region?
How can I get answers to other questions?
How do I get to the UWSI Office?

What does United Way of Southern Illinois (UWSI) do?

We raise and distribute money. Each spring, we consider requests for funding from not-for-profit human service organizations in our communities. We pick the ones we think will do the best job of helping us achieve our mission and work on our Community Impact Agenda. Those organizations become our United Way Affiliated Agencies for the following year. Then we set a fundraising goal and decide exactly how we will divide the money among our new Funded Agencies. Finally, we work to meet our goal by getting donations through employee workplace campaigns, local and regional specials events, and donations from corporations, small businesses, social and fraternal organizations, and individual philanthropists.

We work on our Community Impact Agenda. We work with other leaders and organizations in our communities, as well as with our Funded Agencies, to try to solve long-term community problems in southern Illinois. In addition to raising money to meet our annual campaign goal, we try to raise money so that we can make small Community Impact Grants to support important projects in our community by groups that are not among our Funded Agencies.

What's our territory?

We serve 14 counties in southern Illinois: Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, White & Williamson.

How is our territory divided?

United Way of Southern Illinois (UWSI) is organized into ten Advisory Board Zones, each of which has a specific region (defined by ZIP codes):
01     Alexander, Johnson, Pulaski & Union Counties
02     Carbondale Area
03     Franklin County
04     Gallatin, Hardin & Pope Counties
05     Herrin Area
06     Greater Marion Area
07     Murphysboro Area
08     Perry County
09     Saline County
10     White & Hamilton Counties

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Who runs UWSI?

The UWSI Board of Directors makes all important decisions about UWSI policy, procedures and activities. The Board of Directors is composed of three representatives from each UWSI Advisory Board.

The day-to-day administrative operation of UWSI is handled by a small professional staff, which is controlled by the Board of Directors and housed in an office in the mall next to Rural King in Marion.

Each Advisory Board controls (subject to approval by the Board of Directors) all the United Way activities for - and funds raised in - its zone. In other words, money raised in a UWSI Advisory Board zone stays under the control of its local board of volunteers. That Advisory Board makes all the decisions about which organizations should be named as its Affiliated Agencies, which local projects should receive support through Community Impact Grants, what special events should be staged, etc.

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What's the relationship between UWSI & United Way Worldwide?

UWSI is a completely independent not-for-profit charitable organization, just like every other United Way chapter. In other words, UWSI is not under the supervision or control of United Way Worldwide, with the exception of the fact that UWSI has agreed to meet the rigorous and comprehensive standards required for annual certification as a member in good standing of the United Way system. UWSI pays annual dues to United Way Worldwide. In return, UWSI receives access to a wealth of fundraising, training, education and advocacy materials and opportunities - as well as the right to use the United Way logo and other proprietary materials.

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What happens when people donate to United Way in our region?

Unless the donor tells UWSI otherwise, the donation stays here and is put to work in the Advisory Board Zone where the donor lives. It is combined with other donations from that zone and is used to fund the all of the Advisory Board's Funded Agencies and/or its Community Impact Grant Fund. Financial transactions (deposits, disbursements, etc.,) and accounting for the whole region are handled by the UWSI office in Marion, but donations are tracked by ZIP Code to be sure they are properly credited to the appropriate Advisory Board.

There are a few exceptions to the way donations are usually handled. First, donors are always free to "designate": to tell UWSI to credit their donations to either another Advisory Board zone or another United Way chapter (anywhere in the world). Second, donors often have the choice to further "designate" their donations: to tell UWSI to use their gifts to support one or more particular Funded Agencies (in their own - or another - Advisory Board zone). UWSI would offer these "designation" options to all of its donors, but many employers who offer workplace campaigns and payroll deduction plans prefer that the donations remain in the Advisory Board Zone where the business is located. In addition, many businesses do not have a payroll system with the capacity to handle "designations."

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How can I get answers to other questions?

You can link to United Way Worldwide: www.unitedway.org

You can talk with our professional staff: CONTACT US

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How do I get to the UWSI Office?

United Way of Southern Illinois
1301 Enterprise Way #34
PO Box 1901
Marion, IL 62959

Our office is in a strip mall, between Rural King and Little Caesars, two stoplights east of the intersection of IL-13 (West DeYoung Street) and Interstate 57, on the south side of the street. We're inside the mall. We try to keep the office open from 9:00 - 4:00, Monday through Friday. However, it's a good idea to give us a call (618-997-7744) before you drive over.

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