Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is United Way of Hernando County (UWHC) and who do they help?

UWHC was established as a 501c3 organization in 1987 and since then, has continuously focused on creating partnerships to further assist our community in seeking sustainable solutions for our most pressing needs. Our support for long-term commitments and bridging the gaps for social services are essential when addressing key social issues our community faces. United Way allocates the dollars our donors invest each year to direct services committed to tackling the underlying cause of complex issues through HEALTH, EDUCATION, & FINANCIAL STABILITY, with a heavy focus on crisis prevention and mental health. We find every dollar we can to address these issues and collaborate with businesses, organizations, and leaders who share a vision of improving lives through the power of working together for true change.

Click here for our localized "UNITED WE WIN" video

  • Who operates the United Way of Hernando County?

A small professional team staff the UWHC who carry out day-to-day operations. This passionate team provides support to all volunteers, Partner Agencies, residents, and corporate partners. They plan and organize all departments including annual fundraising efforts, community outreach events, and manage in-house initiative programs. UWHC is governed by a dedicated team of Board of Directors, made up of a diverse group of volunteers nominated and selected to serve our community. The Board, along with UWHC's Executive Director/CEO, approve all activities, internal policies and oversee the financial aspects of the organization.

A list of STAFF may be found here.
A list of
BOARD OF DIRECTORS may be found here.

  • What is United Way of Hernando County’s overhead and administration cost?

For continued accountability purposes, it is written policy for UWHC's financials and controls to be audited by a certified CPA firm every fiscal year. According to United Way's most recent 990, UWHC's administrative/fundraising percentage is 8.3%. UHWC does not financially support Partner Agencies through the Community Investment Grant (CIG) with administrative/fundraising rates over 25%. It is important that majority of donor funds are invested into direct program services.

UWHC's 990 may be found here.

  • How is United Way of Hernando County different from other non-profits?

UWHC serves as lead organization in our community with multiple initiatives and focus areas. We truly fight for the HEALTH, EDUCATION, & FINANCIAL STABILITY of every person in our community. These initiatives include helping children, adults & elders, encouraging health and wellness, physical and emotional care, promoting financial stability and self-sufficiency, and crisis intervention. We take pride in serving as a "hub" of resources for individuals and families who simply don't know where to go in order to best help connect them to available resources.

  • How is United Way of Hernando County making a difference in my community?

UWHC continues to invest in partnerships and programs with proven outcomes and positive impact on Hernando. As United Way continues to monitor and evaluate our community's most pressing needs, the more we explore opportunities for more strategic investments in larger programs/partnerships/projects for greatest impact. United Way also provides a multitude of vital services residents depend on every year, such as 2-1-1 Hernando (for resource referrals) and VITA (a FREE Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program that saves individuals and families thousands of dollars each filing season). UWHC also works hand-in-hand with Hernando County's Emergency Management, serving as Hernando's Emergency Support Function (ESF) 15 - Volunteers & Donations, facilitating monthly COAD (Community Organizations Active in Disaster) Meetings collaborating with over 50 other health & human service agencies in preparation for response, as well as coordinating activation for the County's Family Resource Center (FRC) after a local disaster and Family Assistance Center (FAC) for Mass Violence Victim Response. United Way focuses heavily on homeless prevention services and bridging gaps in services. More to come!

  • How does United Way of Hernando County determine what Programs receive financial support every year?

United Way's Community Investment Grant (CIG) Committee utilizes Review Team Members who are willing to help review grant applications submitted by local non-profits requesting Community Investment Funding. Some CIG Review Team Members are loyal UWHC donors, some are first time givers and would like to see where their dollars go, some are curious about what United Way does, and others are simply wanting to make a difference! Each Member is placed on a team of 5-7 people and given a grant application for 1-3 applying agencies where they interview them directly. When reviewing the applications online through e-CImpact, they have access to the grant proposal, including financials and program details, and submit recommendations. From there, recommendations are compiled and evaluated by the CIG Committee where they make recommendations to United Way's Executive Committee. The Executive Committee reviews these recommendations and the proposal is sent to the General Board of Directors for final approval. Eligibility criteria is released to the community every other year, for a 2-year grant cycle. 

  • What are some of the most pressing issues United Way of Hernando County has identified that our community faces?

UWHC works directly with the people of Hernando County and identifies the community's needs through multiple tools. One is the 2-1-1 Hernando call data report that shows the needs our callers identify and the resources/referrals made monthly. UWHC consistently sees the following areas as top need trends: housing, utility assistance, health care, family support services, food/meals, and mental health services.

UWHC also participates in Hernando County's Community Health Needs Assessment that is conducted every three years. The last assessment identified the following priority areas: improve access to primary care, mental health care, and substance abuse services, as well as improving the quality of life for residents through healthy weight and diabetes prevention.

UWHC conducts community surveys in hopes of reaching residents to ask and evaluate what their direct needs are and what they believe should be top priority areas for Hernando.
-When 1,800 VITA Clients were surveyed in Spring of 2024, 932 families identified the following as top priority areas: affordable housing, access to healthcare, mental/behavioral health services, and transportation.
-UWHC's last Community Survey in 2022 had a little over 100 responses, highlighting the following: Barriers... limited access to resources (low-income housing, emergency shelters, etc.), financial limitations (employment, budgeting, "un-bankable", etc.), transportation (not enough public transit, etc.). Mental Health Services was identified as the top chosen priority and focus area.

  • What is 2-1-1 & 9-8-8?

2-1-1 is a national referral and support program. United Way's 2-1-1 is a helpline and user friendly website residents may use when looking for specific assistance such as food pantries, financial aid, childcare services, and so much more. Simply dial 2-1-1 from your land line or cell phone for FREE and follow the prompts for a quick guide to local resources. You may speak with trained representative that will help point you in the right direction for local resources and assistance. You may also search a database of local health & human services by visiting www.UnitedWayHernando.org/211.

FAQ on 2-1-1 HERNANDO may be found here.

As of July 16, 2022, the Nation Suicide Prevention Lifeline (now known as the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline) can now be reached via call or text using the new three-digit dialing code 9-8-8 and by chat. The previous Lifeline phone number (1-800-272-8255) will always remain available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis. Those who contact the 988 Lifeline (via call, text, or chat) will be connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing Lifeline network. These trained counselors will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if necessary. This confidential emotional support to people nationwide is provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

More on 9-8-8 may be found by visiting www.988lifeline.org

  • Do I qualify to receive Emergency Assistance?

UWHC understand that every person and every family in need of financial assistances comes with their own history and set of unique unmet needs. United Way's team and Program Care Coordinator carefully conducts over the phone and in-person assessments to identify qualifications and next steps. Although Community Emergency Funds are restricted and limited, UWHC is here to assess and assist. With a heavy emphasis on bridging the gaps in services for ALICE Households, we recommend individuals contact the UWHC office directly for further evaluation, 352-688-2026 or utilize our online Contact Us page.

UWHC provides and partners with many helpful services. Depending on your situation, we recommend you also call our 2-1-1 Hernando helpline or visit www.UnitedWayHernando.org/211 to directly search for health & human resources that may serve your current need(s). UWHC's Proud Partner Programs also provide direct services for many initiatives that cater to health, education, financial stability, and basic needs/crisis prevention.

  • How can my business get involved with United Way of Hernando County?

Glad you asked! Approximately 91% of UWHC's total revenue is raised through Workplace Giving Campaigns, where employers offer payroll deduction to their employees. Contact the UWHC office today for more information on how your business can easily become a Proud Community Partner!

UWHC also hosts a "Business Blitz Challenge" every year for companies of all sizes to invest any dollar amount to our organization. Donations are then matched dollar-for-dollar by a local community CHALLENGER! UWHC then advertises your support through social media, word of mouth, and in print recognition businesses who become a "Preferred Partner". Contact us today for more information!

  • How can I donate to United Way of Hernando County?

Visit www.UnitedWayHernando.org/GIVE and Click here for easy ways to GIVE! (including PayPal, VENMO, Facebook, and mail-in donations)

  • Can I choose where my money goes?

Yes. UWHC honors designations to 501c3 organizations who provide programs that align with our core values in Health, Education, and Financial Stability. We ask that designations be a total of $100 or more.

  • How can I volunteer for United Way of Hernando County?

UWHC has a user-friendly online volunteer portal called Lend a Hand Hernando. There you can easily sign up for an account and browse local opportunities listed by United Way and other non-profit agencies in the community based on your passions and interests. www.UnitedWayHernando.org/Volunteer 

  • Still looking for answers?