Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to common questions about United Way

How does United Way of Palm Beach County help our community?

United Way of Palm Beach County is a local organization whose mission is to ensure that everyone in Palm Beach County has access to the basics: a quality education, a place to live, financial stability, good medical care, and enough to eat. We do this by uniting the resources of donors, volunteers, agencies and the community. We act as a convener who unites all sectors of the community – business, education, local government, nonprofits, faith based, labor unions and the media – to collaborate on solutions to issues affecting our community. By forming these partnerships, we ultimately change lives.

How is United Way Committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

United Way of Palm Beach County welcomes, respects, and empowers every individual’s identity. Through our influence in Palm Beach County, we seek to bridge equity gaps to build an open and inclusive community.

We recognize Palm Beach County is a diverse and expanding community. Our growth is tied to recognizing the individuals in our community, our commitment to transparency and evolving the education for our staff, our board members, and the people of Palm Beach County.

United Way of Palm County is committed to celebrating individuals and amplifying every voice.

As a member of United Way Worldwide network, United Way of Palm Beach County is committed to the following:

  • Develop, maintain, and publicly post an organization position opposing all forms of racism;
  • Annually, provide racial equity training for all board members and staff; and
  • Develop and use racial equity as one of the criteria in making community investments.

To read more about our commitment to DEI, please visit our Mission and Values page.

How is United Way of Palm Beach County different from other nonprofit organizations?

United Way of Palm Beach County exists for one reason – to help the community identify and address the issues that affect all of us. Those issues, like making sure children start school ready to learn, and helping families become self-sufficient, cross lines of race, gender, geography, and faith, and can only be addressed with collective focus and action, which produce measurable results.

Who operates United Way of Palm Beach County?

Local volunteers! Volunteers serving on our board of directors set policy and provide the overall direction for all activities. Hundreds of other knowledgeable community volunteers serve on committees, conduct research, analyze issues, build partnerships, oversee fiscal matters and make recommendations to the board of directors. Our professional staff works side-by-side with the board and committee volunteers investing your contributions in local programs that are proven to make our community stronger and safer, and help people live better lives.

Why should I invest in my community through United Way of Palm Beach County?

An investment in United Way is the best way to make measurable improvements in the lives of people in Palm Beach County. When you make a contribution to United Way of Palm Beach County your gift goes further and is more impactful. We combine your dollars with the donations and resources of others and strategically invest in programs that address out community’s most critical needs. Through donations made directly to United Way, we have the opportunity to be the catalyst that creates positive change in the lives of 1 in 5 Palm Beach County residents. With these contributions, we help fund 100 programs and initiatives focused on education, income and health provided by more than 60 Palm Beach County nonprofit partners. In addition, programs receiving funding from United Way are monitored and evaluated, making sure dollars are well spent and results are achieved. If concerns relating to the proper stewardship of funds are discovered, United Way of Palm Beach County will withhold funds until an approved corrective action plan is accomplished.

What else does United Way of Palm Beach County do besides raise money and fund programs?

We do “whatever it takes” to help our community come together and get results on important issues. While United Way of Palm Beach County does raise and invest dollars, we also do so much more. We help people come together as one community to identify and address the issues that affect all of us. We build partnerships with donors, corporations, nonprofits, foundations, neighborhood associations, and government agencies, to strategically tackle important problems. We provide information, education, and a forum for advocacy. Through our partners at the 211 Helpline, we connect people who need help with local resources. We help people and corporations volunteer in the community, and lend their time and expertise to providing solutions that matter.

What is United Way of Palm Beach County’s community impact?

We carefully identify our community’s needs and issues and invest in programs and special projects that strategically address those needs, truly helping to improve the lives of our residents and advance the common good.

These programs and special projects fall under the following areas of focus:

What partnerships have United Way of Palm Beach County formed?

To advance our community impact, we provide leadership for a number of partnerships with individuals, nonprofits, government agencies, neighborhood associations, and corporations.

A few of these partnerships are:

  • 211 Palm Beach/Treasure Coast
  • Disaster Recovery Coalition
  • Health Council of Southeast Florida
  • Nonprofits First
  • Palm Beach/Treasure Coast AFL-CIO Community Services
  • Birth to 22: United for Brighter Futures
  • Achieve Palm Beach County

Is it possible to direct your gift to a specific agency?

We give donors the option of designating a gift to a specific agency. The designated agency or organization must be a 501(c)(3) of active status, and comply with the Patriot Act. Otherwise, the gift will be directed to United Way of Palm Beach County’s Community Investment Fund, in accordance with our designation policy. Processing fees on designated gifts will be charged based on United Way of America’s standard calculation.

Designations for the 2021-2022 campaign year are anticipated to be paid out based on the following schedule:

(Payments may also include designations for the current month if it is practical to do so.)

  • November 30, 2023
    Pledges collected during October 2023
    (minimum designation payout amount: $100 cumulative)
  • February 29, 2024
    Pledges collected during November and December 2023
    (minimum designation payout amount: $100 cumulative)
  • April 30, 2024
    Pledges collected during January and February 2024
    (minimum designation payout amount: $100 cumulative)
  • June 28, 2024
    Pledges collected during March and April 2024
    (minimum designation payout amount: $100 cumulative)
  • August 30, 2024
    Pledges collected during May and June 2024
    (minimum designation payout amount: $100 cumulative)
  • September 30, 2024
    Pledges collected during July and August 2024
    (minimum designation payout amount: $100 cumulative)
  • October 31, 2024
    Pledges collected during September 2024
    (minimum designation payout amount: $100 cumulative)

If you have questions, please contact our donor services team at

Please note gifts designated outside of United Way of Palm Beach County’s network of nonprofit partners are not necessarily used for human-services programs. They can be used for any expense, and we are not able to monitor their financial responsibility or program outcomes. However, investments made to United Way of Palm Beach County’s funded nonprofit partners are monitored to guarantee fiscal accountability and measurable results through regular evaluations.

How does an organization apply for United Way of Palm Beach County funding?

Periodically, United Way will do a request for proposals. These requests are carefully reviewed and evaluated by volunteers. Using many factors in their deliberations, these volunteers make recommendations that are taken to the board of directors for consideration and approval. Besides the specific request, organizations must meet or exceed our Standards of Accountability.

What are United Way of Palm Beach County’s Standards of Accountability Partner Agencies must follow?

Briefly, they are:

  • Be a nonprofit 501(c)(3) health and human service organization.
  • Provide services that meet a documented community need and cooperate with other agencies providing services for similar populations.
    Conduct an annual audit that conforms to generally accepted accounting principles.
  • Have programs and finances reviewed annually by United Way of Palm Beach County staff and volunteers.
  • Provide services without discrimination due to gender, race, sexual orientation, veteran status, disability, or national origin.
  • Operate with effectiveness and efficiency – maintaining appropriate administrative records.
  • Have a volunteer board of directors and by-laws governing the board and organization.
  • Must comply with the Patriot Act.

How do the troubles at other United Way and other nonprofits affect United Way of Palm Beach County?

Not at all! Each of the 1,300 United Way in the nation is autonomous and managed by local volunteers. At United Way of Palm Beach County, volunteer leaders are involved in, and monitor every detail of our operations, from fund raising to investments to financial management.

What is the relationship with United Way Worldwide?

United Way Worldwide is a membership organization, holding the rights to the name “United Way” and the brandmark. However, United Way of America neither governs nor sets policy for United Way of Palm Beach County or for any other United Way. In return for annual dues, we receive services of real value including professional training, national advertising, best practices, market research, and access to discounted supplies and materials. Our local volunteer-led board of directors sets policies and goals, exercises fiscal controls, and guides the effective operations of United Way of Palm Beach County.

How did United Way of Palm Beach County begin?

Following the devastating hurricane of 1928, community leaders recognized the need for a unified effort to respond to human needs. Therefore, in 1929, several federated organizations were formed in Palm Beach County.

Since that time, the original organizations have undergone many changes in title and structure. At one time, four separate United Way organizations existed in Palm Beach County. In 1987, United Way of Delray Beach and United Way of Greater Boca Raton joined to form United Way of South Palm Beach County. This was followed by the staff consolidation of United Way of Palm Beach County and United Way of South Palm Beach County in 1990. The merger of these organizations was completed in July 1992, forming what is now known as United Way of Palm Beach County, Inc. Today, United Way of Palm Beach County, Inc. serves all of Palm Beach County except for the island of Palm Beach, which is served by Town of Palm Beach United Way.

It is still true that challenging times such as natural disasters, bring us all together. When a hurricane impacts our community, United Way is one of the first to step up and leverage its partnerships with several other community organizations and businesses to assist residents and nonprofits that are impacted by the storm, as well as invest in long-term recovery efforts. The way these important relationships were leveraged to do the most good in the most impactful way for disaster relief is the same way that United Way collaborates with our community to solve issues year-round. Since 1929, United Way of Palm Beach County as raised and distributed an astonishing total of $316 million that has significantly impacted our community.

What is the significance of United Way of Palm Beach County’s brandmark?

In 2004, United Ways across the nation began using a modified version of the United Way symbol. The new brandmark maintains the same elements of our mission. The hand is a symbol of purpose; the person represents the people in Palm Beach County whose lives we improve; the rainbow represents reach and hope. United Way organizations across the nation are using this modified symbol. Whether you are in Palm Beach County, San Francisco or Des Moines, Iowa, you will clearly be able to recognize the United Way brandmark.

Our Mission & Values

Read about our mission, vision, commitment to DEI, and how we use these values to be a community leader, collaborative partner, and solutions provider.

Review Our Latest Financials

We value transparency and proudly share our annual financial documents with our donors. See our Form 990s, our Audited Financial Statements, and Annual Investment Reports.

Contact Our Team

Have more questions or want to connect with someone on our team? We'd love to hear from you!