YOU ARE HERE: > Our Designation Policy

Our Designation Policy

Download a PDF of this document

Community Impact Areas

You may choose to direct all or a portion of your gift to areas of special concern to you.

Many donors prefer United Way’s convenient, one-step way to help others by directing their entire pledge to the Community Impact Fund, which mobilizes the caring power of our community to advance education, financial stability, health and basic needs. You also may choose to direct all or a portion of your donation to one or more of the impact areas for which you feel passionate about – education, financial stability, health and basic needs. Whether you invest in the Community Impact Fund or in one or more Impact Area, you do so with the confidence that our Community Impact volunteers will ensure your donation is invested where it will have the greatest impact.

Make a gift now >>

EDUCATION: Education is related to and predictive of career success, financial stability and health. Investments to support the community’s next generation will include:

  • Kindergarten Readiness – Programs increasing the quality of local early education providers through the State of Ohio’s Step Up to Quality program and enhancing the knowledge and skills of childcare providers.
  • Grade Level Reading – Programs working with students in Kindergarten to Third Grade to prepare for and pass the Third Grade Reading examination for successful promotion to Fourth Grade.
  • After School and Mentoring – Programs providing out-of-school activities that build positive relationships, confidence, academic and leadership skills.

FINANCIAL STABILITY: To further support the development of a qualified and financially savvy workforce, specific investment areas include:

  • Job Training for Adults and Teens – Programs creating career pathways for adults and teens to in-demand and life-sustaining jobs and industries.
  • Adult Literacy and GED Attainment – Programs providing remedial education services and/or successfully helping individuals attain their high school equivalency.
  • Financial Literacy – Programs helping individuals and families understand their financial options to stabilize and/or begin the process of debt reduction and asset development.

HEALTH: Support in this area will include:

  • Violence Prevention – Programs educating the community on how to stop sexual assault, child abuse and domestic violence before they start.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment – Programs helping those who have addiction and mental health issues recover and thrive. A special focus will be placed on helping people who have survived trauma overcome their traumatic experiences.
  • Chronic Disease Management – Programs helping clients lives their best lives while managing long-term illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension.

BASIC NEEDS: The goal of this area is to increase access to resources meeting daily needs by investing in:

  • Food Stability – Programs enhancing or expanding access to healthy, quality food for individuals and families in crisis.
  • Emergency Shelter and Housing – Programs providing in-the-moment access to shelter and those using best practices to create housing stability.
  • Transportation Access – Programs providing transportation to marginalized, high-need individuals such as seniors and those with disabilities.
  • Medication Access – Programs increasing access to low- or no-cost medications for the un- and underinsured.

Optional Areas of Investment
You may choose to direct a portion of your contribution to the Community Impact Fund and direct an additional portion as follows:

Partner Agencies / Other United Way
You also may direct all or a portion of your contribution toward one or more partner agency(ies) of United Way of Greater Cleveland, or to another United Way where you live and access services. The minimum directed pledge is $50 and will be
subject to a nominal processing fee. (Note: Designations to United Way’s partner agencies will be paid separately from their annual allocation. Investment Committees will consider this separate revenue stream when determining allocations as a part of our total resource review process.)

Other Northeast Ohio Health and Human Service Agencies
If you would like to support one or more local 501(c)(3) health and human service agency(ies) located in and serving Northeast Ohio that are not affiliated with United Way of Greater Cleveland, you may do so by directing up to half of your annual contribution to such agency(ies). The balance of your pledge may be directed to support any other United Way option(s). All directed gifts, other than to the Community Impact Fund and Impact Areas, must be at least $50. A pledge of $100 is necessary to designate a $50 gift to an agency not affiliated with United Way of Greater Cleveland. Health and human service agencies in Northeast Ohio must maintain and verify their 501(c)(3) status and programs.

All designated agencies are required to comply with the USA Patriot Act and other counter-terrorism laws. In the event that designations are directed to an agency not in compliance with these laws, United Way will attempt to contact you. If we cannot reach you, your gift will be directed to the Community Impact Fund.

(NOTE: Not eligible to receive designations are capital campaigns, cultural, political, environmental, governmental, private schools and universities or religious organizations.)

Designation payments, less a nominal processing fee, are made quarterly based on collections. Your United Way has a fiduciary responsibility to respond to donor, agency and company questions regarding these payments. United Way of Greater Cleveland cannot review the financial or program viability of outside agencies whose programs are not monitored by our volunteers.

Women’s Leadership Council:
The Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) was formed to inspire, educate and engage women to become actively involved in leadership, philanthropy, volunteerism and advocacy in support of United Way of Greater Cleveland’s health and human service priorities. Their efforts are to advance education, income and health – the building blocks for a good life.

The United Way of Greater Cleveland Women’s Leadership Council is open to any woman who directs at least $250 of their annual United Way donation to the WLC. If you would like to designate a portion of your gift to the WLC and become a member, please note it on the front of this form. If you would like more information, please contact the Women’s Leadership Council Program Manager at 216-436-2197 or

Young Leaders
Your donation will support United Way’s work being driven by Young Leaders, a group of professionals, ages 20 through 40, who give, advocate and volunteer to advance education, income and health. Learn more and get involved at Young Leaders

United Way 2-1-1
You may direct all or a portion of your donation to United Way 2-1-1, a free community service directing people to information about social, health and government resources 24/7. Learn more at

Schools Implementing Wraparound Strategy:
Support United Way and CMSD’s partnership to provide social services to kids in low performing schools. By addressing non-academic issues such as absenteeism, behavior and health, barriers to learning are removed.

Latest News

Teenage book lover collects 25,000 books for needy kids
Read More
Parents swimming with Child - Photo used from United Way Worldwide post
3 Ways to Keep Kids Safe this Summer
Read More
Heroes Unite Cleveland Community Celebration featuring Welshly Arms
Why? United Way Heroes Unite!
Read More
Read All News