Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role of Berkshire United Way?

Berkshire United Way’s mission is to improve the quality of life in Berkshire County by mobilizing resources to address community priorities and create sustainable change. 

Why is there a Berkshire United Way?

Berkshire County aspires to be a community of hope and opportunity where every individual and family lives, works, and thrives.
Berkshire United Way has been a leader in providing community solutions in central and southern Berkshire County since 1924 and is working toward achieving that goal by leading coalitions, funding evidence-based programs, and developing effective strategies that will create lasting change in our community. We do the research to identify the most pressing issues, then bring people and organizations together to collaborate on making positive progress in these areas.
Together, we can make a difference. 

Who runs Berkshire United Way and how is it funded?

Berkshire United Way is governed by a volunteer board of directors. The directors, all of whom live or work in Berkshire County, develop policy and hire the CEO. The CEO oversees staff and is responsible for day-to-day operations and management. Berkshire United Way is funded through voluntary contributions from individuals, businesses and foundations dedicated to building our community.

What is Community Impact?

Community Impact isn’t just a process for making investment decisions, it's the end game. Our Community Impact goals focus on early childhood literacy, positive youth development and financial stability, the building blocks for a good quality of life. By directing resources to programs and initiatives that meet the broad range of individual, family and community needs in these areas, we create sustainable change. By measuring results on a regular basis, we ensure the programs we invest in are effective and making positive progress toward our collective goals.

Why look to Berkshire United Way to invest my donation?

By choosing Berkshire United Way to invest your donation, you are ensuring that your gift, combined with those of others, targets the most critical issues and needs in the Berkshires. Community Impact investment decisions are made by trained volunteers who assess each program’s ability to measure and meet outcomes tied to community goals.

What is the best way to give?

Individuals and businesses have many options. Payroll deduction through employer campaigns is a popular choice and makes giving easy. You may also donate on-line at or make a direct payment or pledge via cash, check or credit card.

How much should I give?

Only you can decide how much you can give. Berkshire United Way offers several giving and recognition opportunities. Many people elect to give 1% of their annual salary. A donation of $1,000 or greater will enroll you in the Greylock Society, our leadership giving program.

Is my gift to Berkshire United Way tax deductible?

Yes, if you itemize your deductions on your tax return. Gifts over $250 are acknowledged with a receipt for tax purposes.

Can I designate some of my gift to other charitable organizations?

Yes. Berkshire United Way can make your charitable giving easier by distributing a portion(s) of your gift to other 501(c) 3 organizations.*

How much of the money raised by Berkshire United Way goes to overhead expense?

About 9.8% of the dollars raised goes to “overhead” or general and administrative expenses. An additional 11.9% goes toward fundraising expenses.

Who decides where my contribution goes?

People just like you decide where your money is invested. Every year Berkshire United Way solicits a broad range of volunteers from the community. Approximately 75 individuals are trained to participate in a structured assessment process that ensures funded programs adequately address community goals, ongoing measures and program outcomes. All volunteers are required to sign a confidentiality agreement and disclose any potential conflicts of interest to maintain integrity to the process. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, please visit the volunteer section of our website.

Does Berkshire United Way serve my town?

Berkshire United Way serves 26 communities in central and southern Berkshire County, which are reflected on our service area map. It’s likely someone you know or perhaps even someone in your family has benefited from one or more of programs and strategies we've invested in.

* Only gifts of more than $52 can be designated.

Newsletter Sign Up