Frequently Asked Questions

What does UWCNM do?

Our mission is to promote a culture of philanthropy and to convene stakeholders to achieve measurable community improvement. That means we bring people together to decide what needs improvement in our community. Using an army of volunteers, we gather people’s time and money to create local solutions to human problems that affect us all. At the same time we make it easy for people to give to the causes and nonprofits that matter to them.

What is the Community Fund? Why should I give to it?

Giving is a personal decision. You should give your donations where you feel it will be put to the best use. We would like you to consider a donation to United Way of Central New Mexico’s Community Fund.

  • There are compelling reasons why a gift to the Community Fund is the best way to help the most people. Thanks to our Corporate Cornerstones Program, our low administrative cost [10.1%] has been underwritten through corporate gifts. That means 100% of your donation to the Community Fund will go to help people right here in central New Mexico. United Way and its Corporate Cornerstone Partners have made giving easier for all of us.


  • Through payroll deduction you can give more throughout the year than you could give at one time.


  • You want your money to go where it will do the most good. Every human service agency relies on other agencies. No one agency stands completely alone. United Way is the only way to make sure that a network of quality human services exists for the people, right here in central New Mexico, who are trying to change their lives for the better. We call it the Community Fund. We believe that if you examine all of the alternatives, you will choose to give some or all of your gift to the Community Fund.


  • Donors decide. Each year 300 volunteers provide a rigorous, informed, and fair review for programs that seek United Way funding. Programs are examined for need, for efficiency and effectiveness, and for financial accountability. This process, unique to United Way, provides quality assurance on behalf of all donors. Any donor is welcome to participate on these review panels. You could be one of those volunteers by calling 247-3671 for more information.


  • The money raised here stays here. All of the money given to UWCNM’s Community Fund stays in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance and Valencia Counties.


  • Payroll deduction makes it easy. Payroll deduction makes it possible for each of us to give a little at a time. By sharing a little bit of each paycheck each one of us can give much more than we could if we had to do it all at once. United Way accepts many forms of payment including credit cards, bill for payment, checks, cash, as well as stock. For more information email Lisa Kruger.


  • Money back guarantee: Contributions to the United Way Community Fund are backed by a money back guarantee. If you are not satisfied, you can request a refund by calling us at 247-3671.


  • Open funding process: All nonprofit, human service organizations in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance and Valencia Counties are eligible to apply for Community Fund Grants.

Who decides where the money goes?

Volunteers decide. Each year 300 local volunteers review agencies who have applied for United Way funding. Their reports and recommendations are the basis for United Way Community Fund Grants. Any donor is welcome to participate on the review panels. Call 247-3671 for further information.

How can I get help for my family or my friends?

Call 211 from any phone to access information and referral services in New Mexico. We staff the phones from 8 AM to midnight everyday of the year. You can also search online at

What is UWCNM's Privacy Policy For This Web Site

We have the utmost respect for your privacy. Our privacy policy is simple and straightforward: Any information you provide to United Way of Central New Mexico, through this site or any other means, will remain private and will not be shared with any other company or organization unless you specifically give us permission to do so.

What is United Way of America/United Way Worldwide?

United Way of Central New Mexico is, and always has been, a local organization. In fact, all local United Way's across the US are local organizations run by local volunteers. For each of those 1,200 United Ways, United Way of America serves as a trade association. It is similar to a teachers association, plumbers association, or a medical association. Founded in 1934 as the Albuquerque Community Chest, we affiliated with United Way of America in 1972. United Way of America provides us with training opportunities, research information and national advertising. For these services we pay them a membership fee, which, at our United Way is paid by Corporate Cornerstone gifts, not by individual donors. United Way of America has no administrative control over United Way of Central New Mexico, nor do we control what they do. We are NOT a local chapter of a national organization. We are a local organization.

Why should I give if I don't need help?

United Way helps people from all walks of life. Many of us mistakenly believe that charitable giving is designed to help only the poorest people in our community. While poverty makes most problems worse, low income people are not the only people who need help. Domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, disabilities and illness know no geographic or economic boundaries. The loss of a job or a serious accident or illness could put any one of us at risk. In fact, tens of thousands of central New Mexicans are already using services funded by United Way. That means even if you haven't used these services, someone you know has. In America, even more so than in other countries, we help our neighbors.

I know someone who asked for help from United Way and didn't get it. Why?

Most problems that people encounter can be addressed by local agencies. People who call us are connected to our in-house Information & Referral Service called "United Way 211." We are the best source of information on where and how to get help. We maintain information on all human services in central New Mexico whether or not they receive United Way funding. However, sometimes people ask for services that do not exist here in central New Mexico. Often that is because of inadequate funding. When there is a limited amount of money to go around, we need to make sure that core services are funded first. Sometimes that means some needs go unmet. In most situations, help is available.

Does UWCNM have political positions? [i.e. abortion, gun control, gay rights?]

No. We do not. Our task is to bring people together around the work of helping the vulnerable people who live here. There are many places in our great country for debate on controversial issues. UWCNM is not one of them. Donors can designate their gifts to any nonprofit of their choice, thereby voting with their dollars. The Community Fund is a shared [“United”] pool of donations focused on helping local people in harm’s way. Controversy would diminish that pool of funds.

What is UWCNM's Non-Discrimination Policy?

United Way of Central New Mexico and agencies receiving UWCNM Community Fund dollars must adhere to laws which provide equal opportunities to all persons regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, veteran status, citizenship status or any other protected classification. These laws require equal treatment of employees in recruiting, hiring, training, advancement, compensation, benefits or any other conditions of employment. In addition, the spirit of these laws extends to program services funded by United Way of Central New Mexico's Community Fund.

Why doesn't United Way fund organizations that help animals or the environment?

United Way exists to raise and distribute funds to help solve human problems. There are people in this community who are hungry, homeless, disabled, illiterate, battered or neglected. While we regret that there are animals who are also mistreated and environmental issues that need attention that is not our primary mission. As a United Way donor, you can designate your gift to any 501(c) 3 organization. We will forward your gift as a service to you at no cost, thanks to our Corporate Cornerstone Companies. This includes gifts to organizations who are not human service providers. Organizations providing therapeutic interaction between animals and people have been funded over the last few funding cycles as part of our open, competitive Community Fund grant process.

What happened a while back with the national United Way guy who illegally took money, Bill Aramony?

In 1992, Bill Aramony was President of United Way of America, a national trade association for 1,200 local United Ways across America. He was fired and later convicted of misusing national funds for his personal benefit. He was sent to prison for 7 years and was released in September 2001. He later died. Though none of the misused funds came from our community, unfortunately, local United Ways continue to suffer because of Aramony's illegal activity with United Way of America [UWA]. One of the positive things that came out of that negative experience was that local United Ways were given more representation on the UWA Board of Governors.