Designation Policy

Donor Designation Policy

The following information applies only to gifts processed by Greater Twin Cities United Way (hereafter “United Way”).

Making a gift to United Way is the most effective way to help our whole community. United Way attacks poverty’s root causes through 10 measurable goals and provides solutions that are interconnected, so that people most in need have the best chance of success.

Making a Designation

United Way understands that some donors choose to direct a portion of their gift to a specific agency. Although we process these donor-directed contributions as a service to our donors, United Way is unable to guarantee how designated funds to a specific organization will be used or ensure measurable results by the recipient organization. Any organization receiving designations must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and must comply with the United States Patriot Act by submitting the proper documentation to United Way.

If you wish to make a designation to a specific organization, the following is required:

  • Confirm that the agency you wish to donate to is a legally recognized 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization by visiting Guidestar, or contact your designated agency.
  • Specify the designation amount.
  • Provide complete agency information, including the name, street address, city and state to ensure that your designated gift goes to the right agency—many have similar names.
  • Submit designation information at the time of the pledge.

Payments to Organizations and Acknowledgment

Designated gifts made to our partner organizations are sent in addition to any existing program funding provided by United Way.

Currently, pledges made through payroll deduction are paid to nonprofit organizations quarterly beginning in March, regardless of when we receive payments. One-fourth of each designated gift paid through payroll deduction is paid to designated organizations during the year in March, June, September and December. As of January, 2021, we will be paying out designated gifts monthly based on payments received on all pledges, including gifts paid through payroll deductions.

Gifts paid by cash, check, credit card or stock are distributed to designated organizations in the next scheduled designation payout.

Donor names and gift details are forwarded to designated organizations unless the donor chooses to remain anonymous, or if an employer does not provide United Way with detailed donor gift information.

Administrative and Fundraising Costs

For any designated gift made in 2019 or before, approximately 12.9 percent is used to cover the costs of fundraising, collecting, processing and distributing donations. Starting in 2020, we are reducing that cost to 5 percent for all designated gifts.

For complete financials, please refer to our Financials page.