Why give to United Way?

This question is probably the most prevalent question we receive at United Way of Midland.  Behind the question is usually a statement:  “I can give to any community organization directly, no need to pass it through United Way.”  The logic behind the statement is sound, unless one takes into account the “value adds” United Way gives to the community donation process.  Here are four very good reasons to make United Way of Midland part of your philanthropic efforts.
Collaboration- The process of giving a donation to effect community change is collaborative.  The personal ability to give toward change and impact is multiplied when I combine my gift with others.  I cannot do as much for any one agency alone, than I can do when combining my gift with another.  The impact is greater because the pool is larger.
Confidence- When I give to United Way of Midland, I can be sure that my gift goes to the people and programs for which I intend it.  This is due to the fact that United Way of Midland has marshalled the resources of our community to address a vetted and identified need.  It is also due to the fact that all agencies and programs are vetted for their impact and measured outcomes are more sure, than if I simply give a modest amount to one, hoping it makes a difference.  I am also assured that community volunteers who are themselves donors, attend site visits and grade programs for their effectiveness.  I can trust the process, since programs that do not meet a need, address a root cause of need, or create outcomes of change in the three focus areas of education, health, and self-sufficiency are not funded.
Reach- When I give to United Way of Midland, I have enlarged my capacity to effect more lives than I would ever be able to alone.  Where else, with what other agency, in what other venue, can we effect nearly 70,000 lives each year?  Most of us want that kind of reach, and if we ever want to see the individuals whose live are effective, I can always go visit a partner and observe a program.  Even better, I can volunteer to serve that organization and understand its effectiveness.  
Simplicity- Giving to United Way of Midland simplifies my giving choices, since I don’t have to choose one agency, program or opportunity over another.  I am able to effect each one and the lives they impact, with one single gift.