It may be the simplest way possible to help fight poverty in our community—and it can have a beneficial effect on your bottom line as well.
It’s Valley of the Sun United Way’s Help The Working Poor Fund, and it’s a little different than other Arizona Qualified Charity Tax Contribution donations. United Way’s version of the tax credit has some key advantages that make sure its impact is maximized — no other organization unites as many people to fight poverty in as many ways.
The Help The Working Poor Fund was created to provide families with opportunities for job training, affordable childcare, educational opportunities and more. Each contribution goes directly to fighting poverty in the community, including battling homelessness and hunger, and helping children and families succeed.
Additionally, Valley of the Sun United Way is designated by the Arizona Department of Revenue as of a handful of “umbrella” organizations in Arizona — meaning it can share contributions with nonprofit partners throughout the community that are aiding in the battle against poverty.
And like all tax credit contributions, each dollar contributed — up to $400 per person and $800 per couple — entitles the donor to a dollar-for-dollar credit on their state taxes, effectively making the contribution free of charge. The contributions can also be counted on the donor’s federal taxes as well.
“There are many worthwhile nonprofit organizations out there who are worthy of support, and donating to the Help The Working Poor Fund really helps to maximize the impact of each contribution because we are able to spread these resources throughout the community,” said Brian Spicker, Chief Program Officer for Valley of the Sun United Way. “It’s perhaps the easiest way to make sure your contributions are utilized to their fullest.”
Giving is easy. As thousands of Arizonans have learned, tax credit contributions are a great way to support community organizations and educational institutions, while creating a positive benefit on state income tax filings.
Those same rules apply for the Help The Working Poor Fund — make your contribution by April 15, and receive a dollar-for-dollar credit on state taxes. But with the ability to spread those dollars throughout the community and work with other like-minded nonprofits, United Way helps ensure each contribution plays a role in the fight against poverty.
According to the 2011 U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey, more than one-fifth of Arizonans live in poverty, which ties Arizona with New Mexico for 5th highest poverty rate in the nation. Children here are particularly hard-hit, as the U.S. Census Bureau reports that 1 in 4 Arizona children age 18 and under are living in poverty. Children who live in poverty are more likely to repeat a grade in school and more likely to drop out before completing high school.
Last year, United Way and partners:
• Assisted 1,231 people to acquire reliable housing
• Aided 7,475 adults in obtaining employment
• Helped 5,367 families to improve their finances through financial coaching,
• Provided individuals with 352,622 emergency meals
• And provided countless other services for Valley families through the support of the Helping the Working Poor Fund.
“Our partnerships in the community and our ability to bring together resources to fight poverty really differentiate what we’re able to accomplish with the Help TheWorking Poor Fund,” Spicker said. “There’s a tremendous need out there in our community those forces that create the cycle of poverty, and we are proud of what we are able to accomplish thanks to the support and generosity of our community.”
To donate to the Help The Working Poor Fund, simply visit www.vsuw.org/hwp.
About Valley of the Sun United Way
Since 1925, Valley of the Sun United Way has unified diverse partners, donors, business supporters, nonprofits, government and faith-based communities to build a stronger Valley for us all. United Way and its 90,000 donors, 400 business supporters and 5,000 volunteers fight to break the cycle of poverty by ensuring children and youth succeed, ending hunger and homelessness, and increasing the financial stability of families. Join the fight, visit vsuw.org.