Frequently Asked Questions

What is United Way?

United Way of Northwest Louisiana is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 agency that fights for the health, education, financial stability, and essential needs of every person in every community. We partner with local nonprofits, businesses, government, and social service agencies to address our community’s most pressing needs. Our goals address poverty’s root causes on multiple fronts, and we measure our impact and success each year in our Annual Community Report.

United Way serves ten parishes in Northwest Louisiana including Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, DeSoto, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, Webster, and Winn.  During specific local disaster-relief situations, we also work in partnership with United Ways across Louisiana to ensure that immediate help is coordinated and effective.

What Makes united way unique?

Making a gift to United Way is the most effective way to help our community at large. Our unique ability to work across complex issues with hundreds of community partners is unmatched. We put our donors in the driver’s seat, giving them the power to designate their dollars to a nonprofit of their choice or to support United Way’s mission.

We measure progress made in the community because we are focused on solid, tangible results that create lasting change. We mobilize volunteers and convene partner agencies, corporations, community leaders, and policymakers to make broad, systemic changes like no other organization can on its own.

United Way of Northwest Lousiana offers programs that help people in crisis get back on their feet, prevent future problems, and build a stronger community for all of us. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, SingleCare Prescription Assistance Program, the Shreveport Financial Empowerment Center, and the 211 Health & Human Service Hotline are just a few.

Are United Ways related?

The 1,400 community-based United Ways are separately incorporated and independently governed by local volunteers. Many of these organizations are similar in their mission and structure, but some are very different.

United Way of Northwest Louisiana pays a voluntary membership contribution for the rights to use the name and logo, and support broader community impact goals through United Way Worldwide, which attacks the same problems on a national and global level, and provides guidance, training and development services to local United Ways. These dues are less than one percent of each dollar contributed.

Contributions raised in our ten-parish area stay here and decisions about which programs to invest in and which partnerships to pursue are made locally. 

Where does the money go?
Your contributions are invested locally – in your parish – in health and human service programs proven to make our community stronger. Ninety-nine cents of every dollar stays in our community.
Can I give to a specific agency?
Yes. You may specify that all or a portion of your gift go directly to any 501 (c)3 organization or you can choose to designate all or a portion of your gift to one of our strategic areas: Education, Financial Stability, Health and Essential Needs.
Can our company become more involved with United Way?
Yes, we offer several ways for you to be engaged in our community:

  • Subscribe to our news alerts.
  • Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Comment and share!
  • Post about your campaign news and other United Way-related topics.
  • Interested employees can join together to find rewarding volunteer opportunities.
  • Financial Literacy Lunch & Learns
  • Free Tax Preparation Programs
  • Assemble a team and participate in a Day of Caring project.
  • Host a food or supply drive and collect essential items to donate to one of United Way programs.
  • Talk to your United Way staff member about other ways to get involved.
How much is used for 'overhead'?
Nearly half of our administrative cost is covered by corporate gifts from companies. Therefore, most of every dollar you contribute goes to initiatives and programs that help people and build a stronger community.