Everything you always wanted to know about United Way of New York State

Q.   How long has UWNYS been operating?
A.   UWNYS was begun in 1975 to give United Ways a voice in state government. This occurred during the first big shift of federal responsibilities to the states.

Q.   Who decides what services are provided?
A.   Our organization's most valuable customers - local United Ways. The state Board of Directors is responsible for approving annual service plans and the budgets to support those activities, in consultation with local United Ways.

Q.   How are service priorities decided?
A.   Local United Ways tell the state Board what's important through our strategic plan, training evaluations, feedback from local volunteers on the state Board, and the Professional Advisory Committee (local United Way executives). Then the Board decides annually on a sevice plan and budget that reflects those goals.

Q.   How is UWNYS governed?
A.   By the statewide Board of Directors including local United Way volunteers, five local UW executives, and several statewide volunteers from key constituencies such as labor, business and education.  Our chair is Karen Bilowith, 

Q.  How often does the Board meet?
A.  The full Board meets four times a year.  Meetings are open to any local United Way leadership who would like to attend.

Q.   What does the Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) do?
A.   UWNYS' by-laws establish PAC as an advisory committee to the Board consisting of all local United Way executives. They meet once or twice a year to develop consensus around important issues.  In 2013-14 the PAC chair is Carol Houwaart-Diez, President, United Way of Greater Niagara.

Q.   How is UWNYS financed?
A.   84% percent of our revenues come through membership fees for services (dues) from local United Ways. Other sources include grants and training registration fees.  The year 2014 budget is $402,829.

Q.   How do UWNYS services differ from United Way of Worldwide's?
A.   UWNYS provides services unique to NYS such as state-level public policy, low cost training, and help with the state employees campaign.

Q.   How much money is raised by United Ways in New York State?
A.   In 2012, our 38 members reported raising a total of $138.6 million.

Q.   How many staff work at UWNYS?
A.   Three full time staff.