FAQs

What is the role of Berkshire United Way?

Berkshire United Way's mission is to improve the quality of life in Berkshire County by mobilizing resources to address community priorities and create sustainable change. That means our board of directors, staff, donors, volunteers and other community partners bring together all available resources to assist those in need and make lasting improvements in our community. We use data to identify issues and measure results and outcomes to ensure that changes are long-term, not just quick fixes.  


Why is there a Berkshire United Way?

Berkshire United Way has been a leader in providing community solutions in central and southern Berkshire County since 1924. Today our service area includes 26 communities and directly impacts more than 19,000 lives. Our donors have confidence that their human service dollars go the furthest and do the most good, supporting many programs through a single effort. Our volunteers contribute their time and expertise because they recognize the need to invest wisely, where needs and results are greatest. Our board of directors and staff are dedicated to ensuring an organized, efficient and accountable system for investing resources and advancing the common good in Berkshire County.


Who runs Berkshire United Way and how is it funded?

Berkshire United Way is governed by a volunteer board of directors. The directors – all of whom live or work in Berkshire County – develop policy and oversee paid staff. The CEO is responsible for day-to-day operations and management. Berkshire United Way is funded through voluntary contributions from individuals, businesses and foundations dedicated to the community.


What is Community Impact?

Community Impact isn't just a process for making investment decisions. It's the end game.  Our Community Impact goals focus on education and employment – both keys to a good life.  By directing resources to programs and initiatives that meet the broad range of individual and family needs in these areas, we create sustainable change in our community. By measuring results we ensure programs are effective and worthy of investment.


Why look to Berkshire United Way to invest my donation?

By choosing Berkshire United Way to invest your gift, you are ensuring that your gift, combined with those of others, targets the most critical needs in the Berkshires. Community Impact investment decisions are made by trained volunteers who assess each program's ability to measure and meet outcomes tied to community goals.


What is the best way to give?

Individuals and businesses have many options. Payroll deduction through employer campaigns is a popular choice and makes giving easy. You may also donate on-line at our web site or make a direct payment or pledge via cash, check or credit card. You can mail your gift in with a pledge form.

How much should I give?

Only you can decide how much you can give. Berkshire United Way offers several giving and recognition opportunities. Many people elect to give 1% of their annual salary.


Is my gift to Berkshire United Way tax deductible?

Yes, if you itemize your deductions on your tax return. Gifts over $50 are acknowledged with a receipt for tax purposes.


Can I designate some of my gift to other charitable organizations?

Yes.  Berkshire United Way can make all of your charitable giving easier by distributing a portion(s) of your gift to other qualified 501 (c) 3 organizations, both in and outside Berkshire County.


How much of the money raised by Berkshire United Way actually gets to the people who need help?

About 82 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to help those in need in central and southern Berkshire County. That means in 2013 more than 19,000 will be impacted by programs supported by Berkshire United Way.


Who decides where my contribution goes?

People just like you decide where your money is invested. Every year Berkshire United Way broadly solicits volunteers from the community. Approximately 75 individuals are trained to participate in a structured assessment process that ensures funded programs adequately address community goals, ongoing measures and program outcomes. All volunteers are required to sign a confidentiality agreement and disclose any potential conflicts of interest to maintain integrity to the process. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, go to www.berkshireunitedway.org and click on "Volunteer."


Does Berkshire United Way serve my town?

Berkshire United Way invests in programs that serve 26 communities in central and southern Berkshire County and directly impact nearly 19,000 participants.  It's likely someone you know or perhaps even someone in your family has benefited from one or more of these initiatives.