Frequently Asked Questions

Why is there a Berkshire United Way?

Berkshire United Way focuses on our local community, first and foremost. Together with neighbors like you, we provide early education opportunities so children enter school ready to learn; give young people tools to make healthier decisions and plan for college or a career; and help working families increase their income and assets so they are better positioned to provide their children with what they need.

What is Berkshire United Way's mission?

Berkshire United Way’s mission is to ignite the collective power of individuals and organizations to build a stronger community together. Our vision is for Berkshire County to become a dynamic, engaged community with opportunities for all.

Who runs Berkshire United Way?

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. 

How is Berkshire United Way funded?

Berkshire United Way is funded through voluntary contributions from individuals, businesses, and foundations dedicated to building a stronger community here in the Berkshires.

Who does Berkshire United Way help in the community?

Berkshire United Way helps children and adults in each of the 32 communities within Berkshire County. It's likely someone you know, or perhaps even someone in your family, has benefited from one or more of the programs we've invested in. When we support those among us who need our help, our whole community is stronger.

Why give to Berkshire United Way?

Berkshire United Way invests annually in nonprofits throughout the county that impact more than 17,000 people in our community, but we are so much more than just a funder. We are a leader in the community, bringing individuals and organizations together to tackle the tough issues that no one person or agency can solve alone.

Who decides where my contribution goes?

People just like you decide where your money is invested. Trained volunteers from the community, staff, board, and local experts in their fields review and evaluate funding requests. They recommend to the Board of Directors how to invest the funds for the greatest impact. Volunteers, staff, and board members participate in monitoring visits at funded programs throughout the year to observe the program in action and evaluate the impact of our investment. For questions about how we invest in the community, contact Katherine von Haefen, Director of Community Impact, at or (413) 442-6948 x20.

How can I help make a difference?

Individuals and businesses have many options to give with payroll deductions through workplaces, online donation with direct gifts or pledges, and volunteering their time.

How much should I give?

All gifts matter, regardless of the size. A few dollars a day or week combined with gifts from over 4,000 donors help us raise over $1 million a year. How much you give is entirely up to you! For questions about how we fundraise or to learn more about planned giving, contact Emily Daunis, Director of Development, at or (413) 442-6948 x17.

Can I designate some of my gift?

Yes. Are you passionate about helping young children prepare for kindergarten, giving teens an opportunity to develop a college or career plan, or connecting working families to better jobs? Then you can select one or more of those areas for your gift to make an impact. You can also choose to designate all or a portion of your gift to any other qualified 501(c)3 organization, both in and outside of Berkshire County. Donors must contribute at least $52 to designate to another organization.

How can I volunteer?

Berkshire United Way and Berkshire nonprofits have plenty of opportunities throughout the year for community members and workplace employees to volunteer. Search for and sign up for volunteer activities through Berkshire United Way's Volunteer Center. To learn more about volunteering, contact Brenda Petell, Director of Volunteer Engagement, at or (413) 442-6948 x18.