The United Way System is
based on the concept of community volunteerism. Founded in 1887 by a
group of religious and lay leaders, the Charitable League Society of Denver,
Colorado was the first such organization in the nation. The society was
formed in an effort to bring about a coordinated efficient way to help people
in need. Over the years these volunteer organizations have been known as
Community Chests, Red Feather, United Foundation, etc., but in the early
1970s most communities adopted the name United Way. Every local
United Way is unique and reflects the needs and concerns of the community it
Area United Way was created and governed by volunteers. In 2003, the name
was changed to Rogers County United Way, Inc. It has an IRS 501© 3
tax-exempt letter, and are registered with the national trade association
United Way of America. Services received from national association
include usage of the United Way logo, national advertising from the NFL
advertising television spots, training for volunteers, and research on local
human service issues.
Governed by local
volunteers, the Rogers County United Way has been building a stronger, more
compassionate community. The Board of Directors represents a
cross-section of the communitys leadership. The Board of Directors
makes the decisions about how the local United Way funds shall be disseminated
by assessing the communitys human service needs, meeting with service
providers to discuss funding requirements, and approves the funding level for
the various programs and agencies.
The Board of
Directors is divided into committees, such as the Allocations Committee, which
reviews and studies agency financial reports, and submits recommended
allocations for each agency to the full Board, making sure that all donations
are spent on a legitimate, tax exempt, health and human service entity.
To be considered for United Way funding an agency must be a charitable health
and human service organization; fully describe their array of services;
demonstrate how they met local needs; and prove their cost-effectiveness and
accountability to the community.
A second committee is the
Campaign Committee, charged with annually selecting a Campaign Chair to run the
campaign. More recently, a Chair Elect has been chosen to assist the
Campaign Chair. This person will fill in for the Chair when needed, and
see how its done. As this position provides a method of learning,
the Chair Elect then serves as the Campaign Chair the following year, upon
approval of the Board.
volunteers are chosen by the Campaign Chair persons who volunteer to
dedicate their time and talents to raise the funds needed to reach the yearly
goal. These volunteers make up the committee whose job it is to achieve
The Board of Directors
meets monthly (or more often if needed) to ensure that the funds raised help
people in need in the most effective way possible. Helping youth learn
and develop into healthy productive adults, strengthening families, promoting
self-sufficiency and building safer communities are just a few ways that local
United Way funds are utilized in Rogers County.