Frequently Asked Questions

What is United Way of Central New Mexico's role in the City of Albuquerque's "A Better Way" program?

United Way of Central New Mexico serves as the fiscal agent for a plan the City of Albuquerque created, called A Better Way, to give people an opportunity to help the homeless and others in need of crisis or emergency services.

The City has installed large signs at many of the off-ramps and other locations where panhandling is prevalent. The purpose of the signs is two-fold: to let those in need know to dial 3-1-1 to obtain information on where to go for emergency food and shelter, and to let those who want to help know they can go online to to make a financial contribution (as opposed to handing money out of their car window).

UWCNM and City of Albuquerque representatives will select organizations that have been vetted and that are current or past Community Fund recipients or current or past recipients of the Emergency Food & Shelter Program. The funds will be paid on a monthly basis and UWCNM will provide a full accounting of where the funds were distributed. The funding will be limited to nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations serving clients in Bernalillo County with emergency and crisis services related to food, shelter, assistance with substance abuse and/or mental health needs, or temporary employment. 100% of the funds received by UWCNM will be distributed.

What does the United Way of Central New Mexico (UWCNM) do?

United Way of Central New Mexico (UWCNM) brings together donors, businesses, nonprofits, government and others to create better solutions to our community's challenges. With your support, we address Education, Health, and Self-Sufficiency so that families can grow and thrive in our four-county area. Our programs and your dollars ensure that individuals and families in central New Mexico have the opportunity to achieve potential through education, that they are healthy and safe, are financially stable and live life with dignity.

Founded in 1934 as the Albuquerque Community Chest, UWCNM is the way our community helps itself.

How does UWCNM help people obtain Education, Health and Self-sufficiency?

The programs of UWCNM include the Community Fund, which improves our community by providing program grants to qualifying health and human services agencies in central New Mexico. By supporting the Community Fund, you are advancing the common good and creating a stronger community.

United Way of Central New Mexico also supports other programs and initiatives: 

Mission: Graduate, a cradle-to-career community initiative that has the goal of adding 60,000 certificates and degrees to our region by 2020.

The Center for Nonprofit Excellence offers training and networking opportunities to build the capacity of nonprofits in central New Mexico. 

Tax Help New Mexico, a partnership with the Central New Mexico Community College , provides free assistance in preparing and filing income tax returns for New Mexico residents with an annual household income of less than $52,000 or who are over the age of 65 regardless of income.

2-1-1, our information and referral line, is accessible 7 days a week, 8AM to Midnight, 365 days a year. It provides help for anyone seeking assistance with basic human needs.

The Family Advocacy Center, a “one-stop” shop for victims of domestic violence, is a safe, secure and caring environment that focuses on the needs of victims of interpersonal crime.

Affinity Groups, where our members have identified women’s self-sufficiency, middle-school youth, and youth transitioning to adulthood as areas for giving. Affinity Group Grant Initiatives are gifts to the Community Fund.

Why should I give to United Way rather than directly to an organization of my choice?

We would like you to consider a donation to United Way of Central New Mexico’s programs and initiatives. There are compelling reasons why a gift to United Way is the best way to help the most people: 

- We help our community provide comprehensive solutions to complex human problems through the Community Fund and other UWCNM-led programs such as 2-1-1 and Tax Help New Mexico. Our programs represent collective impact, with measurable results in three areas (Health, Education and Self-sufficiency). We believe that by using Results-based Accountability, the results will be transforming. Every human service agency relies on other agencies; no one agency stands completely alone. United Way supports a network of quality human services, right here in central New Mexico.

- Thanks to our Cornerstone Partners Program, our low administrative cost [11.6%] is supported by corporate gifts. That means your donation will go to help people right here in central New Mexico. United Way and its Cornerstone Partners have made giving easier for all of us.

- The community decides. Each year more than 100 UWCNM donors and volunteers provide a rigorous, informed, and fair review of programs that seek United Way funding. Programs are evaluated for alignment with UWCNM’s investment priorities, efficiency, effectiveness, and for financial accountability. An open funding process means that nonprofit, human service organizations in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance and Valencia Counties that meet UWCNM’s eligibility criteria are welcome to apply for Community Fund allocations, called Issue Area Grants. This process provides quality assurance on behalf of all donors.

- The money raised here stays here. All of the money given to United Way of Central New Mexico stays in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance and Valencia Counties unless designated by donors to nonprofits outside of our community. 100% of Community Fund Grants support local programs that assist people.

- Payroll deduction is easy and makes it possible for each of us to give a little at a time. By sharing a little bit of each paycheck it can be easier for us to give much more than if we gave all at once. United Way accepts many forms of payment including credit cards, bill for payment, checks, cash, as well as stock transfer. For more information, email [email protected].

- Money back guarantee: Contributions to the United Way Community Fund are backed by a money back guarantee. We are confident you will find that United Way is the best way to help the most people. If you are not satisfied, you can request a refund by calling us at 247-3671.

Is this United Way part of United Way Worldwide?

United Way of Central New Mexico is, and always has been, a local organization, governed by a local Board of Directors. United Way Worldwide serves as a trade association similar to a teacher’s association, plumber’s association, or medical association, and provides us with training opportunities, research information and national advertising. We pay a membership fee for these services.

What is "United Way 2-1-1?"

2-1-1 is the national abbreviated dialing code for free access to health and human services information and referral. United Way 2-1-1 is a comprehensive source for information about health and human services, government agencies, and community-based organizations. By providing appropriate referrals to available human services, teachers, individuals, children and families are able to access resources within our community. Need help? Want to help others? Call United Way 2-1-1 (or 245-1735) or access the online database. United Way of Central New Mexico is the best source of information on where you can get the services you, or someone you know, might need.

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 and referral service called "United Way 2-1-1." 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. In most situations, help is available.

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.

Why does United Way charge a fee for using a credit card for gifts to designated agencies?

United Way of Central New Mexico must consider measures that will allow us to continue being good stewards of the funds with which we are entrusted. We are rising to the challenge to provide excellent customer service, advance our mission, and keep costs reasonable for our organization.

The UWCNM Board of Directors has determined that the Corporate Cornerstone Program, which funds our administrative costs, does not have sufficient funding to absorb all expenses related to credit card transactions. As of November 1, 2014, any portion of a gift given via a credit card and designated to an organization outside of UWCNM will incur a tax deductible 3% service management and processing fee.

The administrative charge will not apply to gifts paid by credit card in support of the work of UWCNM (i.e. Community Fund, Affinity Group Grant Initiatives, Mission: Graduate, etc.).  

In either case, your entire gift will remain 100% tax deductible.

Our 11.6% administrative cost is exceptionally low for a nonprofit organization and we consistently earn the highest rating Charity Navigator can award: 4 stars.

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

United Way helps people from all walks of life. 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. We invite you to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors through the United Way of Central New Mexico.