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What does United Way of Central New Mexico (UWCNM) do? 

United Way of Central New Mexico (UWCNM) brings together donors, businesses, nonprofits, government and others to create better solutions to our community's challenges. With your support, we address Education, Health, Basic Needs and Financial Stability so that families can grow and thrive in our four-county area. Our programs and your dollars ensure that individuals and families in central New Mexico have the opportunity to achieve potential through education, that they are healthy and safe, are financially stable and live life with dignity.

Founded in 1934 as the Albuquerque Community Chest, UWCNM is the way our community helps itself. 

How does UWCNM help people obtain Education, Health, Basic Needs and Financial Stability?

The programs of UWCNM include the Community Fund, which improves our community by providing program grants to qualifying health and human services agencies in central New Mexico. By supporting the Community Fund, you are advancing the common good and creating a stronger community.

United Way of Central New Mexico also supports other programs and initiatives: 

Mission: Graduate, a cradle-to-career community initiative that has the goal of adding 60,000 certificates and degrees to our region by 2020.

The Center for Nonprofit Excellence offers training and networking opportunities to build the capacity of nonprofits in central New Mexico. 

Tax Help New Mexico provides free assistance in preparing and filing income tax returns for New Mexico residents with an annual household income of less than $56,000 or who are over the age of 65 regardless of income.

2-1-1, our information and referral line, is accessible 7 days a week, 8AM to Midnight, 365 days a year. It provides help for anyone seeking assistance with basic human needs.

Affinity Groups, where our members have identified women’s self-sufficiency, middle school youth, and youth transitioning to adulthood as areas for giving. Affinity Group Grant Initiatives are gifts to the Community Fund.

The Family Advocacy Center, a “one-stop” shop for victims of domestic violence, is a safe, secure and caring environment that focuses on the needs of victims of interpersonal crime.

    Why should I give to UWCNM rather than directly to an organization of my choice? 

    We would like you to consider a donation to United Way of Central New Mexico’s programs and initiatives. There are compelling reasons why a gift to United Way is the best way to help the most people: 

    • We help our community provide comprehensive solutions to complex human problems through the Community Fund and other UWCNM-led programs like 2-1-1 and Tax Help New Mexico. Our programs represent collective impact, with measurable results in four areas (Health, Education, Basic Needs and Financial Stability). We believe that by using Results-based Accountability, the results will be transformative. Every human service agency relies on other agencies; no one agency stands completely alone. UWCNM supports a network of quality human services, right here in central New Mexico.
    • The community decides. Each year more than 100 donors and volunteers provide a rigorous, informed, and fair review of programs that seek UWCNM funding. Programs are evaluated for alignment with UWCNM’s investment priorities, efficiency, effectiveness, and for financial accountability. An open funding process means that nonprofit, human service organizations in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance and Valencia Counties that meet UWCNM’s eligibility criteria are welcome to apply for Community Fund allocations, called Issue Area Grants. This process provides quality assurance on behalf of all donors.
    • The money raised here stays here. All of the money given to United Way of Central New Mexico stays in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance and Valencia Counties unless designated by donors to nonprofits outside of our community. 100% of Community Fund grants support local programs that assist people.
    • Payroll deduction is easy and makes it possible for each of us to give a little at a time. By sharing a little bit of each paycheck it can be easier for us to give much more than if we gave all at once. UWCNM accepts many forms of payment including credit cards, bill for payment, checks, cash, as well as stock transfer. For more information, email
    • Each United Way is independent. United Way of Central New Mexico makes every effort to provide timely and accurate information regarding our financial state. UWCNM was one of the first, and is still one of the few, nonprofit organizations to post our full 990 and audit report on our website.
    • United Way of Central New Mexico is committed to protecting our donors’ privacy. We will not disclose, sell or rent information we collect from you to any third party, including other nonprofit organizations, unless you specifically request that we share your information with a third party, nor will we use information we collect from you to market services or products to you if you have not previously expressed an interest in such services or products. We maintain appropriate security measures to keep donor information private.
    • Money back guarantee: Contributions to the UWCNM Community Fund are backed by a money back guarantee. We are confident you will find that UWCNM is the best way to help the most people. If you are not satisfied, you can request a refund by calling us at (505) 247-3671. 

    What is the donor giving policy that took effect with the fall 2016 Campaign?

    As UWCNM's strategic and impact work increases, and because corporate support is declining, we are asking our community to support our mission and programs. The UWCNM Board of Directors is asking all donors to help meet the challenge.

    In order to provide critical community support and ensure UWCNM can continue to direct donors' gifts to the organizations they designate, 10% of donors' tax deductible gifts will be allocated to the work of United Way of Central New Mexico.

    The change will enable UWCNM to align resources with strategic and programmatic interests and build on successes such as the Family Advocacy Center.

    In addition, in order to keep administrative costs low, the minimum donation to a single agency is $30 per year per donor. For most donors, this amounts to just over $1 per pay period. (If a donor chooses to give only to UWCNM, however, a gift in any amount is appreciated.)

    Please review our Examples of Giving document for illustrated cases of how this policy works at the individual level, and our list of ways to support your community through UWCNM.

    What is the Cornerstone Partners Program and how does it contribute to UWCNM's impact work?

    Cornerstone Partners are companies and individuals who demonstrate their support for systemic change and quality human services, right here in central New Mexico, with their corporate gifts in support of UWCNM's impact work. Cornerstone support makes an important, positive difference in UWCNM's ability to provide enduring systemic change.

    What is United Way of Central New Mexico's role in the City of Albuquerque's "A Better Way" program?

    United Way of Central New Mexico serves as the fiscal agent for a plan the City of Albuquerque created, called A Better Way, to give people an opportunity to help the homeless and others in need of crisis or emergency services.

    The City has installed large signs at many of the off-ramps and other locations where panhandling is prevalent. The purpose of the signs is two-fold: to let those in need know to dial 3-1-1 to obtain information on where to go for emergency food and shelter, and to let those who want to help know they can go online to to make a financial contribution (as opposed to handing money out of their car window).

    UWCNM and City of Albuquerque representatives will select organizations that have been vetted and that are current or past Community Fund recipients or current or past recipients of the Emergency Food & Shelter Program. The funds will be paid on a monthly basis and UWCNM will provide a full accounting of where the funds were distributed. The funding will be limited to nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations serving clients in Bernalillo County with emergency and crisis services related to food, shelter, or temporary employment. 100% of the funds received by UWCNM will be distributed.

      What is United Way of Central New Mexico’s role in the Family Advocacy Center?

      The Family Advocacy Center (FAC) was created through a partnership between United Way of Central New Mexico and the City of Albuquerque, with the financial support of UWCNM’s Corporate Cornerstone Partners, to provide help for victims of interpersonal violence. The FAC opened its doors in 2007 and is actually many different agencies all working together under one roof. The unique design of the facility dramatically reduces the stress and trauma often placed on victims and their families by giving them access to a wide range of support services at a single location.

      UWCNM contributes to the work of the FAC by convening the FAC Advisory Committee, which provides marketing and communications support, assistance with activities that enhance the functions of the center, and more. Services at the Family Advocacy Center (medical care, advocacy, legal and financial assistance, as well as law enforcement and prosecution) are available to anyone, adults or children, living in the Albuquerque and surrounding area to overcome both the physical and emotional stress of interpersonal violence. The center offers support services for families and victims of domestic violence, violent relationships, rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, stalking and mental health issues. To learn more, please visit the FAC website.

      Who decides where the money goes? 

      Local volunteers decide. This work couldn’t happen without dedicated, caring individuals like you. If you are interested in helping to determine where Community Fund dollars do the most in our community, please contact to learn more. 

      Is this United Way part of United Way Worldwide? 

      United Way of Central New Mexico is, and always has been, a local organization, governed by a local Board of Directors. United Way Worldwide serves as a trade association similar to a teacher’s association, plumber’s association, or medical association, and provides us with training opportunities, research information and national advertising. We pay a membership fee for these services.

      What is "United Way 2-1-1?" 

      2-1-1 is the national abbreviated dialing code for free access to health and human services information and referral. United Way 2-1-1 is a comprehensive source for information about health and human services, government agencies, and community-based organizations. By providing appropriate referrals to available human services, teachers, individuals, children and families are able to access resources within our community. Need help? Want to help others? Call United Way 2-1-1 (or (505) 245-1735) or access the online database. United Way of Central New Mexico is the best source of information on where you can get the services you, or someone you know, might need. 

      I know someone who asked for help from United Way and didn't get it. Why? 

      Most problems that people encounter can be addressed by local agencies. People who call us are connected to our in-house information and referral service called "United Way 2-1-1." We maintain information on all human services in central New Mexico whether or not they receive UWCNM funding. However, sometimes people ask for services that do not exist here in central New Mexico. Often that is because of inadequate funding. In most situations, help is available. 

      Why doesn't United Way fund organizations that help animals or the environment? 

      United Way exists to raise and distribute funds to help solve human problems. There are people in this community who are hungry, homeless, disabled, illiterate, battered or neglected. While we regret that there are animals who are also mistreated and environmental issues that need attention that is not our primary mission.

      Why does United Way charge a fee for using a credit card for gifts to designated agencies?

      United Way of Central New Mexico must consider measures that will allow us to continue being good stewards of the funds with which we are entrusted. We are rising to the challenge to provide excellent customer service, advance our mission, and keep costs reasonable for our organization. 

      The UWCNM Board of Directors has determined that the Corporate Cornerstone Program, which supports the work of UWCNM, does not have sufficient funding to absorb all expenses related to credit card transactions. As of November 1, 2014, any portion of a gift given via a credit card and designated to an organization outside of UWCNM will incur a tax deductible 3% service management and processing fee.

      The administrative charge will not apply to gifts paid by credit card in support of the work of UWCNM (i.e. Community Fund, Affinity Group Grant Initiatives, Mission: Graduate, etc.).  

      In either case, your entire gift will remain 100% tax deductible.

      Why should I give if I don't need help? 

      UWCNM helps people from all walks of life. While poverty makes most problems worse, low income people are not the only people who need help. Domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, disabilities and illness know no geographic or economic boundaries. The loss of a job or a serious accident or illness could put any one of us at risk. In fact, tens of thousands of central New Mexicans are already using services funded by UWCNM. That means even if you haven't used these services, someone you know has. We invite you to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors through United Way of Central New Mexico.