Mission: United Way of Western Connecticut helps residents across Northern Fairfield County, Southern Litchfield County and the City of Stamford by focusing on the vital buil ... (More)

United Way of Western Connecticut is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1942, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.uwwesternct.org/

 301 Main Street
Suite 2-5
Danbury CT 06810 

  203-792-5330


You are viewing this organization's new Charity Navigator profile page. To view the legacy version, click here.

Star Rating System by Charity Navigator


Charity Navigator evaluates a nonprofit organization’s financial health including measures of stability, efficiency and sustainability. We also track accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.




Exceptional

This charity's score is 93.43, earning it a 4-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity. 

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2019, the latest year published by the IRS.

View this organization’s historical ratings.


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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

80.8%


The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).


This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver. Dividing a charity's average program expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Administrative Expenses

10.7%


As reported by charities on their IRS Form 990, this measure reflects what percent of its total budget a charity spends on overhead, administrative staff and associated costs, and organizational meetings. Dividing a charity's average administrative expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Expenses

8.4%


This measure reflects what a charity spends to raise money. Fundraising expenses can include campaign printing, publicity, mailing, and staffing and costs incurred in soliciting donations, memberships, and grants. Dividing a charity's average fundraising expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

7.1%


The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).


Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Efficiency

$0.08


The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Working Capital Ratio

0.89 years


Determines how long a charity could sustain its level of spending using its net available assets, or working capital, as reported on its most recently filed Form 990. We include in a charity's working capital unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets, and exclude permanently restricted net assets. Dividing these net available assets in the most recent year by a charity's average total expenses, yields the working capital ratio. We calculate the charity's average total expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Program Expense Growth

-2.58%


We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.


Source: IRS Form 990

Governance


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990

Governance:
Independent Voting Board Members  ... (More)
No Material Diversion of Assets ... (More)

A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization's assets other than for the organization's authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft – can seriously call into question a charity's financial integrity. We check the charity's last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action. This metric will be assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Full Credit: There has been no diversion of assets within the last two years.

  • Partial Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity has used Schedule O on the Form 990 to explain: the nature of the diversion, the amount of money or property involved and the corrective action taken to address the matter. In this situation, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity's explanation on Schedule O is either non-existent or not sufficient. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant ... (More)

Audited financial statements provide important information about financial accountability and accuracy. They should be prepared by an independent accountant with oversight from an audit committee. (It is not necessary that the audit committee be a separate committee. Often at smaller charities, it falls within the responsibilities of the finance committee or the executive committee.) The committee provides an important oversight layer between the management of the organization, which is responsible for the financial information reported, and the independent accountant, who reviews the financials and issues an opinion based on its findings. We check the charity's Form 990 reporting to see if it meets this criteria.

  • Full Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant with an audit oversight committee.

  • Partial Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant, but it did not have an audit oversight committee. In this case, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: The charity did not have its audited financials prepared by an independent accountant. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)
Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)
Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)
Compensates Board ... (More)

Policies


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Policies:
Conflict of Interest  ... (More)
Whistleblower ... (More)
Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)
CEO Compensation Process ... (More)
Donor Privacy ... (More)

Donors have expressed extreme concern about the use of their personal information by charities and the desire to have this information kept confidential. The exchanging and sale of lists for telemarketing and the mass distribution of "junk mail," among other things, can be minimized if the charity assures the privacy of its donors. Privacy policies are assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Yes: This charity has a written donor privacy policy published on its website, which states unambiguously that (1) it will not share or sell a donor's personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations or (2) it will only share or sell personal information once the donor has given the charity specific permission to do so.

  • Opt-out: The charity has a written privacy policy published on its website which enables donors to tell the charity to remove their names and contact information from lists the charity shares or sells. How a donor can have themselves removed from a list differs from one charity to the next, but any and all opt-out policies require donors to take specific action to protect their privacy.
  • No: This charity either does not have a written donor privacy policy in place to protect their contributors' personal information, or the existing policy does not meet our criteria.

The privacy policy must be specific to donor information. A general website policy which references "visitor" or "user" personal information will not suffice. A policy that refers to donor information collected on the website is also not sufficient as the policy must be comprehensive and applicable to both online and offline donors. The existence of a privacy policy of any type does not prohibit the charity itself from contacting the donor for informational, educational, or solicitation purposes.

(Less)

Transparency


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Transparency:
CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)
Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)
Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)
Audited Financial Statements on Website ... (More)
Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)

Additional Information

Unscored

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Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

Presented here are this organizations key compensated staff members as identified by our analysts. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



Kimberly Morgan, Chief Executive Officer

$175,559 (3.13% of Total Expenses)


Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2020

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Activities:

Community Chest, United Way, etc. (BMF activity code: 600)

Fundraising (BMF activity code: 927)

Gifts, grants, or loans to other organizations (BMF activity code: 602)


Foundation Status:

Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (BMF foundation code: 15)


Affiliation:

Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


United Way of Western Connecticut reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Revenue

  • Staffing


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:

United Way of Western Connected was impacted by the pandemic. Fundraising activities were cancelled, programs had to quickly shift to a virtual setting, volunteer activities pivoted to quickly mobilize around emergency food distribution, and an entire organizational infrastructure was stood up to support staff working remotely to continue to deliver on our important community programs. It forced us to think innovatively to solve the crisis at hand and to think differently about program access and delivery through technology. In the end, due to increased grant funding, major gift support, and a PPP loan, United Way of Western Connecticut came through the pandemic in a strong position to continue its mission and meet the ever-changing needs of the community.


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:

We set up emergency funds to get $200 payments to 3,400+ people across our region who lost jobs or wages due to COVID. Working with United Ways across the state and community partners, we used Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) to provide digital debit cards to help people pay for food, gas, utilities, etc. To address food insecurity, we increased the produce benefit of our Healthy Savings program to $20/week and enrolled 350 new households. We worked with partners to get food to the homebound, increase food pantry capacity, and deliver holiday meals. Our COVID-19 Resiliency Fund is helping nonprofits that faced increased demand; more than 40 agencies received COVID relief and regular funding. Volunteer activities, such as our annual Days of Action, were scaled down, but we continue to offer volunteer opportunities, keeping safety in mind. We partnered with the City of Danbury on vaccine equity work, and we work with multiple municipalities in our footprint on long-term recovery planning.


How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:

In the beginning months of the pandemic, we hosted weekly virtual convenings of community nonprofits and other community partners to determine the best ways to work collaboratively to address the needs of those who lost jobs or wages, as well as families and individuals who were facing greater food insecurity because of isolation or school closings. These convenings fostered increased community collaboration and shaped the way we worked with community partners to respond to the overwhelming need. For internal operations, we implemented Microsoft Teams to facilitate communications between remote employees and moved all of our files to SharePoint to store and collaborate on documents. All employees worked remotely for more than a year, with “split shifts” in the office continuing until the present time. All meetings are conducted virtually, including with our Board of Directors and Community Councils. Employees were given the option to work remotely for an indefinite period of time.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), described above, was successful and will be used for other programs, including our ALICE Enrichment Fund, which provides up to $300 per child for out-of-school activities. Our Healthy Savings program will continue to expand and will offer $10 in free produce (no match required) for the foreseeable future. We have forged partnerships with other community entities, especially to address food insecurity, that will continue to change the way we get food to the low-income population in the months and years to come. Virtual meetings and remote work options have become a part of everyday operations and will stay in place indefinitely.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
7/1/20202019 93.43
6/1/20192018 94.25
8/1/20182017 89.93
7/1/20182017 87.27

This organization received multiple star ratings within this fiscal year, due to an update to it's Accountability and Transparency data and/or the receipt of an amended Form 990.

8/1/20172016 88.72
11/1/20162015 87.39
6/1/20162014 95.40
Rating Version: 2.0
11/1/20152014 94.46
7/1/20142013 89.02
9/1/20132012 88.39
12/21/20122011 80.99

...   Impact & Results


This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.


Impact & Results Score

Not Currently Scored

United Way of Western Connecticut cannot currently be evaluated by our Encompass Rating Impact & Results methodology because either (A) it is eligible, but we have not yet received data; (B) we have not yet developed an algorithm to estimate its programmatic impact; (C) its programs are not direct services; or (D) it is not heavily reliant on contributions from individual donors.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.

Learn more about Impact & Results.

Do you work at United Way of Western Connecticut? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



United Way of Western Connecticut reported its two largest programs on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$1,126,120

Spent in most recent FY

24%

Percent of program expenses


COMMUNITY IMPACT GRANTS AND OTHER DISTRIBUTIONS: UNITED WAY SUPPORTS PROGRAMS THAT MAKE A CLEAR DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE'S LIVES IN THE AREAS OF EDUCATION, FINANCIAL STABILITY, AND HEALTH. BOTH DOLLARS AN ... (More)


$3,493,390

Spent in most recent FY

75%

Percent of program expenses


COMMUNITY IMPACT INITIATIVES: UNITED WAY FUNDS SEVERAL INITIATIVES THAT FOCUS ON EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION, ACCESS TO HEALTHY FOOD, AND FINANCIAL STABILITY. UNITED WAY IS THE LEAD FISCAL AGENT FOR DAN ... (More)


...   Leadership & Adaptability


This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.


Leadership & Adaptability Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by United Way of Western Connecticut is a passing score.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.


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Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s mission


OUR MISSION IS TO IMPROVE THE LIVES OF HARD-WORKING, STRUGGLING HOUSEHOLDS BY MOBILIZING THE RESOURCES OF LOCAL COMMUNITIES TO CREATE LASTING CHANGE. UNITED WAY OF WESTERN CONNECTICUT (UNITED WAY) IS THE CHAMPION FOR HARD-WORKING, STRUGGLING HOUSEHOLDS IN OUR 15-TOWN REGION ACROSS NORTHERN FAIRFIELD COUNTY, SOUTHERN LITCHFIELD COUNTY, AND THE CITY OF STAMFORD BY FOCUSING ON THE BUILDING BLOCKS FOR A GOOD LIFE: EDUCATION, FINANCIAL STABILITY, AND HEALTH. OUR VISION IS THAT EVERY HOUSEHOLD IS FINANCIALLY STABLE, AND EVERY CHILD ENTERS SCHOOL READY TO LEARN AND GRADUATES READY TO SUCCEED. WE ARE PARTICULARY FOCUSED ON A POPULATION THAT UNITED WAY IDENTIFIES AS ALICE (ASSET LIMITED, INCOME CONSTRAINED, EMPLOYED) IN OUR COMMUNITIES. A UNITED WAY REPORT PUBLISHED IN SEPTEMBER 2020 REVEALED THAT 38% OF HOUSEHOLDS STATEWIDE ARE ALICE OR LIVING IN POVERTY AND ARE STRUGGLING TO PAY THEIR BILLS.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.


We are committed to ensuring that every child enters school ready to learn, every family is financially stable and every community we serve is healthy and strong. We are the recognized leader in identifying issues and pathways to solutions.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Strategic Goals

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.


Goal One: Increasing access to affordable, quality child care and education.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Two: Increasing access to fresh, healthy food.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Three: Give people the tools they need to help them save and become more financially stable.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

We offer ongoing opportunities through United Way Worldwide to participate in leadership development and trainings to improve relevant skills related to staff job function. All staff and board members have undergone various diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings. We have ongoing trainings for our staff to further develop all staff's understanding of United Way and community programs and relevant government and social service programs.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Mobilizing for Mission

The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.


This organization mobilizes for mission in the following ways:
  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Networks of Collective Impact Efforts

  • Thought Leadership

  • Raising Awareness

  • Community Building

  • Policy Advocacy

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

We engage in strategic partnerships with community organizations, government entities, and business to further our mission. We are the backbone organization for Stamford Cradle to Career, a collective impact effort in Stamford to ensure that all children are ready to succeed in education, career, and life. We also serve as a backbone to two food collaboratives, dedicated to ensuring food security in Danbury and Stamford. We use social media and traditional media outlets to raise awareness of the issues facing hardworking, low-income households. We advocate at the local, state, and federal levels for policies and legislation that support the needs of struggling households.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Story of Adaptability

The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.


At the height of the pandemic, we set up emergency funds to distribute $200 cash payments to 3,400+ people across our region who had been negatively impacted by the pandemic. We worked with other United Ways across the state of Connecticut and community partners to deliver funds using Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) directly to digital debit cards that individuals could use to pay for food, gas, utilities, etc. To address the increase in food insecurity caused by lost jobs, wages, social isolation, and school closings, we took a multi-pronged approach to getting food to families and individuals in need. During the height of the pandemic, we increased the fresh produce benefit through our Healthy Savings program to $20 per week and enrolled 350 new households in the program. We partnered with businesses and nonprofits in our region to deliver food to the homebound, to increase capacity at food pantries, and to deliver holiday meals to needy families. In the beginning of 2021, we created a COVID-19 Resiliency Fund that provided funding to nonprofits in our region that faced increased demand due to the pandemic and that had to change their service delivery methods to adapt to safety protocols. Over 40 nonprofit agencies received funding for COVID relief and through our regular funding processes. Unfortunately, many of our volunteer activities, such as our annual Days of Action, were scaled down considerably due to concerns about COVID. But we continue to offer volunteer opportunities that take safety protocols into consideration. Additionally, we have partnered with the City of Danbury on vaccine equity work, and we work with multiple municipalities in our footprint on long-term recovery planning for the future economic stability of our communities.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's engagement with the constituents it serves, a practice we term Constituent Feedback. When organizations listen to constituents, they are able to better deliver on programs and meet the needs of stakeholders. A future version of this Beacon will also assess an organization's people operations and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) metrics.


Culture & Community Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by United Way of Western Connecticut is a passing score.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of an organization's Culture and Community by measuring its Constituent Feedback practices (see report below). Constituent Feedback data provides 100% of the basis for the initial evaluation of the Culture & Community Beacon.


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Culture & Community Report

100

of 100 points

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Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback

Full Credit


This organization reported that it is collecting feedback.


Here's how this organization is listening and learning from the people they serve:


How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

Note: The organization did not respond to this question.


How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

Note: The organization did not respond to this question.


With whom does your organization share the feedback you got from the people you serve?

Note: The organization did not respond to this question.


What challenges does your organization face in collecting feedback from the people you serve?

Note: The organization did not respond to this question.


Briefly describe a recent change that your organization made in response to feedback from the people you serve.

Note: The organization did not respond to this question.



Methodology


Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective. We've partnered with GuideStar by Candid to survey organizations about their feedback practices. Nonprofit organizations can fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile to receive a rating.


Charity Navigator awards full credit for this Beacon to every nonprofit that is eligible for an Encompass Rating that completes the survey, in recognition of their willingness to publicly share this information with the nonprofit and philanthropic communities. This data is not evaluated for quality at this time. Validation will be added in future iterations of this Beacon.

Analysis and Research


Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Our partnership with Feedback Labs and Guidestar by Candid, and other partners including Fund for Shared Insight, GlobalGiving, and Keystone Accountability, enables us to launch the first version of this beacon with Constituent Feedback information collected on Candid's site.


Feedback practices have been shown to support better Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion outcomes, an essential area of assessment that we intend to further expand and develop in the future. Feedback Labs has documented several studies which indicate that beyond achieving organizational goals, nonprofits that are attentive and responsive to concerns and ideas raised by beneficiaries establish stronger relationships with the people they serve, promote greater equity, and empower constituents in ways that can help to ensure better long-term outcomes. You can find resources to help nonprofits improve their feedback practices here.

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