Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


United Way is the world’s largest philanthropic network, raising around $5 billion per year. Its global mission is to fight for the education, income, and health of all community residents. United Way Worldwide (UWW), headquarters for the movement, is based in Alexandria, VA. UWW provides services and sets standards of operational excellence for local United Ways. UWW also works on broad national and international humanitarian issues.

United Way of Northern California (UWNC) is one of approximately 1,200 local United Ways in the United States. Another 600 local United Ways operate in more than 40 other countries. Each local United Way operates autonomously; all decisions about how money is raised and spent in each community are made by the local board of directors.

A volunteer Board of Directors governs UWNC. The current chair is Sonia Aery, owner of an Allstate Insurance agency in Chico. Larry Olmstead, President & CEO, leads staff and reports to the Board.

If you live in Shasta, Tehama, or Siskiyou counties, call 2-1-1. If you live in another county we serve, contact us by filling out our  UWNC Services form. You can also call us at (530) 241-7521.

Visit the "Our Work" page for all of UWNC's programs. 

Donate here or text UWNC to 41444 anytime to give a one-time or recurring donation using your credit card, debit card, or PayPal account. 

Our Workplace Giving Program allows you to continually impact your community through payroll contributions. See our Workplace Giving page for more information, or contact Debi Chimenti at 530-227-8184 to signup. 

Donations are distributed through health and financial services, the 2-1-1 helpline, disaster relief, and grants to nonprofit agencies. Overhead is kept to 15-20%, which is less than the average as 25-35% which is considered an acceptable norm in the nonprofit arena. Every dollar raised by UWNC is spent in our 9 county service area: Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, and Trinity counties. 

United Way encourages you to give as your conscience dictates. By giving to UWNC, you are assured that the money will be distributed locally to organizations that have been vetted carefully by our staff and our volunteer Community Impact Committee.

Yes, to the extent allowed by law. UWNC is registered as a 501(c)(3) charitable entity by the Internal Revenue Service.

Absolutely. Unless compelled by law, we will not share your information with anyone – United Way Worldwide, other United Ways, or other organizations. We will not sell lists of names to marketing vendors or anyone else. Our files are kept secure internally under strict protocols.

Our Board of Directors approves grant disbursements based on recommendations from the Community Impact Committee, which is composed of volunteers from across different sectors who are highly respected for their community involvement. UWNC gives preference to organizations offering programs aligned with education, income and health, and other stated priorities of UWNC. Organizations must match other criteria, including possessing a track record of successful program implementation.

New funding opportunities will open again soon for the 2023 North State Equity Fund grant cycle. If you would like more information, please fill out the NSEF interest form here, and UWNC will let you know when applications open. New information is coming in March 2023 on how to apply for the upcoming Community Impact Grants cycle.  

Yes. We encourage everyone to get involved and make a difference in their community! 
To participate in community events and outreach please contact Kary Tuers at
For volunteer leadership opportunities with our Board of Directors or Community Impact Committee please contact Larry Olmstead at
Get in Touch 

Please call us at 530-241-7521 if you have questions or need more information.

Still have questions? Give our office a call at 530-241-7521 for additional information.