United Way rated a top nonprofit organization

As a board member of United Way of Clinton County, Iowa, I have learned a lot about our community and the agencies that serve it. I’ve also learned a lot about UWCCI and discovered there are a lot of misconceptions of what it is and what it does. I’d like to share what I’ve learned.

First, when you donate to UWCCI your money doesn’t go to some far-off place or pay for extravagant offices. Ninety-nine cents of every dollar stays here in Clinton County. UWCCI pays a 1 percent membership fee but that benefits our local office by providing training, services and access to national resources. I know it’s hard to believe but you can’t trust everything you read on social media. United Way is rated by many as a great nonprofit and recently rated No. 1 by Forbes as the top nonprofit overall for having low overhead and effective use of donations.

Second, UWCCI does not provide support directly to individuals. They help fund agencies that are trained and skilled in helping residents of Clinton County. For example, the YWCA of Clinton’s Children’s Center is run by people with education degrees to provide a safe, nurturing environment with age-appropriate learning activities. They are licensed by the state of Iowa and given the state’s Quality Rating System (QRS) highest rating.

UWCCI also has a rigorous process for agencies to get donations. Agencies have to submit a “booklet” about their agency, what UWCCI donations are used for, how they measure success, make presentations to the board members and finally meet with Citizen’s Review Committee.

The CRC brings me to my last point. The UWCCI operates with over 100 local volunteers who make up different boards and committees. These volunteers also provide much of the labor for all the various events throughout the year. Not many business or nonprofits run with just two full-time staff, yet they manage to fund 28 different programs throughout the year.

So I want to stress that I believe in UWCCI. I have donated my time and money to this organization because I believe in what they do and what they want to achieve. If you are interested in learning more or donating your time or money, please call (563) 242-1209, visit their website at www.clintonunitedway.org, or checkout their Facebook page at United Way of Clinton County, Iowa.

Julie Witt,

United Way of Clinton County, Iowa board member