Our Organization

What is United Way of Stanislaus County?

Who runs United Way of Stanislaus County?

What is United Way of America?

Giving to United Way

How do I know my money actually goes towards community non-profits?

Can I specify which agency I give my money to?

What percentage of the money collected actually goes to help individuals in need?

Why should I give when I (or my family) never use United Way agency services?

Does United Way help only the poor?

Why should I give to the United Way instead of directly to my favorite charity?

Why should I raise my level of giving when I'm already stretching my family's dollars?


How to contact United Way
United Way of Stanislaus County
422 McHenry Avenue
Modesto, CA 95354
Phone: 209.523.4562

Fax: 209.523.4568

Media Inquiries
Vice President of Communication, Jeanette Fontana

General Inquiries


United Way of Stanislaus County is an active leader of community solutions. Now more than ever, we are dedicated to delivering results, creating lasting change in our community and being proactive. We focus on long termimpact designed to actively change conditions in our community and improve lives.

Our Community Impact Councils guide our overall strategy. The councils envision Stanislaus County as a proud community where its residents work together to embrace diversity and develop innovative solutions, which results in healthy and successful families and safe and vibrant neighborhoods. The United Way of Stanislaus County has identified community needs, and we invest in initiatives that work toward successful kids, strong families and vibrant neighborhoods.

A vast network of volunteers and the simplicity of corporate payroll deduction keep our administrative expenses low -- averaging 12 percent of all funds raised -- compare that to Better Business Bureau guidelines of up to 35 percent.

Above all, we believe that together we can accomplish the kind of positive outcomes that no one can accomplish alone. Our goal is to Live United, and together create real, lasting change here in Stanislaus County by focusing on the building blocks of a healthy community.

We are governed by a local volunteer board of directors. The community volunteers who lead United Way come from all walks of life. A professional staff supports the volunteer efforts by coordinating activities, producing information and materials, recruiting and training volunteers and planning events. Community Impact Councils identify community issues and review and fund initiatives that actively work to change community conditions and improve lives.

We are a local non-profit organization, we operate independently.  However, we look to United Way Worldwide for support in our endeavors as well as cost-saving services that we benefit from.  There is a vast network of United Ways that all strive toward the common good in various ways.  This umbrella of support and collaboration is invaluable to us, but does not set policies or regulate our local United Way.

When you give to United Way, you entrust your hard-earned dollars to an organization that takes this trust very seriously. More than 100 Community Volunteers serve on United Way Impact Councils. Impact Councils oversee the allocations of funds to all agencies by reviewing programs and making recommendations to the United Way Board of Directors. Impact Councils always target underlying problems and seek initiatives that will create long-lasting change. All initiatives must also have a measurable outcome in order to be considered.

Some agencies have chosen not to apply for United Way funding and others follow guidelines from their national organization, which may not allow them to become a United Way agency. Also, the Community Impact Council has carefully reviewed and selected issues to address in order to create long-lasting change within the community. United Way of Stanislaus County agencies must request funding, and initiatives are accepted based on a review process to be sure they are working towards helping children and youth achieve their potential (Education); Meeting Basic Needs and Establishing Financial Stability (Income); and Improving Community Health and Family Safety (Health).

United Way of Stanislaus County will honor donor designations to its member agencies, to other United Ways and to any 501 (c)(3) charitable organization that the donor selects.

Eighty-eight percent of funds raised go back into the community to help create lasting change for those most in need -- and prevent problems from happening in the first place. Because of outstanding community support and a volunteer board of directors and impact council members, fundraising, management and general expenses are less than 13% of the total operating budget. Compared with the national average of over 25%, you will see that United Way of Stanislaus County is a cost-efficient method of supporting those most in need in our community.

You are an exception if you or a family member haven't been touched by a United Way of Stanislaus County supported agency. Did you know that last year, United Way and its 24 Partner Agencies provided nearly 640,000 health and human services to Stanislaus County residents in need. This would equal 1.5 services for each and every person in our county!  You never know when you, a family member or a neighbor may need a United Way service.

United Way of Stanislaus County focuses on the needs of the entire community, and works toward long-term solutions to community issues. Our approach goes beyond short-term service funding to a long term process of actively working to change community conditions and improve lives. We currently focus on all issues that will lead to successful youth, strong families, and vibrant neighborhoods. So while many of our initiatives and targets better the lives of the poor, all initiatives are working toward the ultimate goal of a strong, healthy community. When we reach out a hand to one, we influence the condition of all. And everyone benefits from living and working in a healthier, happier community.

With 60 years of experience in supporting health and human service needs in Stanislaus County, your United Way is uniquely qualified to rally the community around a drive for real, lasting change. We have the resources and infrastructure to focus on the tough issues that demand a collective response and to implement a broad range of strategies. Our long-range view and the use of Community Impact Councils also means we can measure change at the community level -- rather than just at the individual level. Bringing the community together...that's what it means to LIVE UNITED.

We are all fighting the problems of the cost of living, current economic challenges, and the day-to-day issues of raising families. But just think, if we feel the "pinch," what must it be for someone less fortunate who needs help. Government dollars are not growing for "people problems". And also, with the model of United Way focused on long-term community solutions, an investment in the United Way is an investment in the community now more than ever before.

United Way of Stanislaus County will connect you to the appropriate agency or to other community resources for your specific need. Our call center specialists will walk you through a process that will determine exactly which agency or program can best fill your needs. With over 2,100 different services in Stanislaus County our specialists have been trained in how to determine which programs are the best fit. You can also call 2-1-1 from any telephone in Stanislaus County to reach our operators. It's a FREE call...and it may be the best investment you ever make!

Get the facts: name, agency, date, etc.; then call United Way. All complaints will be checked out thoroughly and you will be notified of the findings. No one who needs help is deliberately turned down. Many complaints are the result of a misunderstanding or miscommunication.