Frequently Asked Questions

Oshkosh Area United Way raises money with our campaign to fund local programs. We focus on initiatives in mental health, education, and financial stability – things everyone can support. Then, we award grants to programs to widen the impact of their services. This lets our partners do more good work, and spend less time fundraising. It’s a win-win for those in need.

A gift to Oshkosh Area United Way is an easy solution. We widen the impact of your gift by making sure your money goes to programs with measurable results right here in Oshkosh.

  • 1 in 3 people in the Oshkosh area benefited from United Way funded programs.
  • Children received 13,139 books to improve their reading ability and readiness to learn.
  • Volunteers delivered 61,152 meals to homebound seniors, who also enjoyed the company of these volunteers.
  • United Way 2-1-1 answered over 12,000 calls, connecting people to local health and human services.
  • 1,471 children received free dental treatment and learned about dental care.
  • We supported 1,800 hours of homework and tutoring to help Oshkosh students thrive.

United Way knows how to make lasting change. We know our community, the issues that affect them and the programs with the most impact. We bring the right parties together to address the big issues facing people and families here in Oshkosh.

Based on local need and research, we invest in these categories:

Health

There is a growing need to support mental health in Oshkosh. We fund programs that connect residents to human services, provide crisis intervention, and promote healthy social relationships.

Education

Giving access to high-quality childcare and education is one of the best investments we can make. We fund programs that provide families with tools for early childhood development and overall school and career readiness.

Financial Stability

Oshkosh Area United Way supports efforts to create stable, self-sufficient households. We fund programs that improve skills to gain employment, reduce transportation barriers, and provide basic needs like food and shelter.

Through a competitive grant process, United Way funds 34 programs focusing on the educational, financial and health needs of people in Oshkosh. For the partners that receive funding to improve lives in Oshkosh, visit: oshkoshunitedway.org/funded-programs.

Oshkosh Area United Way opens its grant process each year. Applicants request funding for any program that improves childhood development (especially before age 3), provides steps to a living wage, or promotes mental health. Community leaders and experts have named these three issues as priorities for Oshkosh.

A trained committee of volunteers reviews each application to ensure the program works toward a community goal. They ask if clients are better off when the program works the way it should. This “citizen review” is a key part of the volunteer-driven selection process. We also review applicants to make sure they are in good financial health. After the committee allocates funds as a team, the board of directors reviews their advice.

We know it’s important that we invest your dollars in effective services. That’s why we hold funded programs accountable. Once they have funding, partners check in every quarter to ensure their goals are on track and they are using their money responsibly.

Your investment to United Way (rather than to an agency) supports coordinated action, proven strategies and solutions at scale. We focus on the programs that make the biggest impact on the biggest issues right here in Oshkosh.

United Way prides itself on efficiency. Just 14 cents of every dollar goes toward operating costs. This is competitive with the top 100 nonprofits in the U.S. and below the industry standard. It’s also under the recommended level from the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance and Charity Navigator. United Way tracks expenses while making sure we have the talent, expertise and systems to raise and invest resources for the best impact.

No. Donations to United Way’s Community Fund make the biggest difference to the most people. United Way monitors results to ensure the programs make an impact. You can be sure we invest your money well.

Over 99% of the dollars raised here stay in Oshkosh. Under 1% goes to United Way Worldwide for services and support to our United Way and other local United Ways. Oshkosh Area United Way has its own 501(c)(3) certification. A local board of directors watches our work.

No. Oshkosh Area United Way does not fund Boy Scouts or Planned Parenthood. For a list of partners that receive funding to improve lives in Oshkosh, visit: https://www.oshkoshunitedway.org/funded-programs.

Every United Way is local and works independently, including your Oshkosh Area United Way. A volunteer board of directors with leaders in the Oshkosh Area United Way chooses investments for our region. OAUW has never seen any financial abuse.

Over 25 years ago, a former United Way of America president, William Aramony, and two cohorts, were indicted for abusing funds. Neither United Way of America, nor local United Ways, received criminal charges in this matter. United Way made major structural changes. It is now a model of accountability in the nonprofit sector. Forbes has named United Way among the top five all-star charities for financial efficiency.

Oshkosh Area United Way