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Burke County United Way


Wendy Cato, Resource Development Director

828-433-0681 ext. 14

Email Wendy


Jennifer Yoder, Burke Health Solutions

828-433-0681 ext. 17

Email Jennifer






Click here to view our IRS 990



General Information

Burke County United Way is a single county, private nonprofit corporation governed by a local Board of Directors to meet the human service needs of Burke County residents.


Burke County United Way is focusing on five major needs area identified by local data and the community in the Roadmap to Impact process:

  • Unemployment/Underemployment
  • Access to Affordable Health Care/Insurance
  • Child Abuse & Neglect
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Abuse

United Way makes an impact in these areas of need by affecting the root causes of the problems through:

  • Funding to local viable programs with strong, positive outcomes.
  • Administrative support to new and ongoing community collaboratives.
  • Over-site and support to the volunteer campaign cabinet whose position is to identify and engage annual funding sources.
  • Over-site and support to the volunteer budget and allocation committees as they review agency requests and recommend funding to the board of directors.
  • Visioning and over-site by the volunteer Board of Directors for all financial and programmatic aspects of the United Way.
  • Providing an annual audit by Lowdermilk Church and Co. and the IRS 990 is posted above.
    (Burke County United Way has always had clean audits with NO financial or management issues.)
Where the Money Goes...
  • Unemployment/Crisis Programs - 18%
  • Youth Programs - 4%
  • Health Care Programs - 25%
  • Child Abuse/Domestic Violence - 18%
  • Mental Health/Substance Abuse - 7%
  • 211 Information & Referral - 7%
  • Donor Option - 5%
  • Administrative/Fundraising - 23%


Additional Data

Why is Burke County part of United Way and not just a local united fund?

The 23% administrative/fundraising figure includes the annual dues paid to the United Way of America and United Way of North Carolina.  These dues total less than $10,000 or 1.3% of total agency funds and in return Burke County receives access to national marketing initiatives and the ability to receive funds from donations designated to us through other United Ways, national company campaigns and the NC State Employees campaign. Last year the affiliation resulted in $75,000 flowing into Burke County from across the nation.  This figure does not include the value of training and marketing assistance provided by the United Way network.  The total investment coming into Burke County far exceeds the amount we pay in dues.


What impact is the economy having on Burke County United Way?

The 2010-111 campaign is estimated to end at $520,000, 94% of the goal.  Burke County United Way worked diligently for the past two years to reduce internal operational costs and hold allocations level to local programs. This year with a $150,000 less in pledges and an economy requiring a higher pledge loss estimate. Burke County United Way has had to reduce allocations to local programs at a time when funds are critically needed to meet local needs.


What is pledge loss?

Pledge loss is the estimated amount of pledges that will not be paid.  Burke County United Way has historically budgeted 8% of total pledges that will not be paid.


What about funds in reserve?

Burke County United Way has a small fund established with the Burke Community Foundation with approximately $10,000 in available reserve funds.


What do United Way employees do in addition to raising funds?

  • Continued the FamilyWize Prescription Drug Card program saving Burke residents $322,257 over three years and 36,866 claims.
  • Initiated the Burke Health Solutions Program providing access to medical care for people without health coverage through a $701,200 three year grant from the Duke Endowment and a partnership with Blue Ridge Health Care, the Good Samaritan Clinic, non-Blue Ridge Health Care affiliated physician and other health related nonprofits and public agencies.
  • Partnered with Wal-Mart, The Outreach Center and community donors to provide back to school supplies for over Burke 1,000 children.
  • Joined forces with the Strategic Alliance for Burke Youth, Toast of the Town, and community donors to raise funds for efforts addressing child abuse and neglect.
  • Worked with Burke United Christian Ministries, East Burke Christian Ministries, The Outreach Center and community donors to fill empty food pantry shelves and feed the hungry.
  • Partnered with The Meeting Place, the Burke Homeless Continuum and other community donors to start a shelter for homeless women and transitional housing for homeless families.
  • Linked with Burke Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, the mental health and substance abuse treatment community, law enforcement, and community donors to support the Burke Substance Abuse Network whose goal is to make Burke County a drug free community.
  • Worked with the Marine Corps league to provide a Christmas Toys for Tots site serving over 370 children.

The costs of these services are based on staff time and allocated back to our community investment areas in the "Where Our Money Goes" section above.