United Way of Rhode Island



in this section

Philanthropy Account

Leadership Giving – What is a Philanthropy Account?

At United Way of Rhode Island (UWRI), we have a special personal giving program for those individuals who make a pledge of $1,000 or more. Your personal Philanthropy Account allows you to combine all of your philanthropic giving into one account and then request distributions to charitable organizations over the course of the calendar year. Creating a personal Philanthropy Account is a free, easy and effective way for you to manage your charitable giving while working with an organization whose values align with yours: to make a difference in the lives of others. While this special personal giving program is offered free of charge to our leadership donors, we do ask that you consider donating a portion of your Philanthropy Account balance to United Way’s Community Impact Fund as part of your philanthropy.

The benefits are many and include:

  • Access to a dedicated Philanthropy Account Manager who provides personalized service and the day-to-day administration of all Philanthropy Accounts at United Way.
  •  Ease of requesting gift distributions to UWRI by phone, fax, e-mail, postal mail and online using a personalized “PIN” number.
  • Quarterly and year-end statements; showing all distributions made to date for easy recordkeeping.
  • Convenient and easy payment options such as payroll deduction, credit cards, checks, securities and monthly billing.
  • Confirmation via letter for each distribution; indicating the check number, date of check, gift amount, agency name and any special instructions you may have requested.

Terms and Conditions

These Philanthropy Account guidelines describe the philanthropy fund program of UWRI, as well as important policies, procedures and benefits associated with creating and maintaining a Philanthropy Account. All activities of UWRI’s Philanthropy Account program are subject to the terms and conditions of this document. United Way reserves the right to modify the program at any time as Internal Revenue Code (IRS) and regulatory changes may require or as UWRI prescribes from time to time.

Be assured that we will make every effort to fulfill your gift distribution request as permitted by the policies and procedures applicable to these transactions.

You can establish a Philanthropy Account by completing a Donor Advised Fund Agreement form and providing an initial contribution of at least $1,000. Your Philanthropy Account held at UWRI is classified as a Donor Advised Fund (by the IRS) and as such, contributions to United Way through this fund are irrevocable and immediately tax deductible to the fullest extent under the law.

As a donor, you may request distributions from your Philanthropy Account to a qualified charitable organization. A minimum distribution of $25 is required. UWRI will verify that the charitable organization is a qualified 501(c)3 according to IRS Tax Code laws. These are organizations described in Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 501(c)(3) to which contributions are tax deductible and that qualify as public charities within IRC section 170(B)(1)(A).
Requests may be submitted to UWRI via phone, fax, e-mail, or online through UWRI’s website. You may also complete a Philanthropy Account Distribution Request Form and mail it to UWRI. Once approved by the Philanthropy Account Manager, your gift will be mailed to the appropriate charitable organization. Notification will be sent to you and the charitable organization within 10 business days from the date the request was received. In the event that a request cannot be approved, UWRI will notify you within 10 business days from the date the request was received.

Below are the exceptions for which United Way cannot process your requested distribution:

  • Distributions may not be used to pay any legally binding pledge or to provide any private benefit (such as school tuition or scholarships sent directly to individuals, dues, membership fees, benefit tickets, or goods bought at charitable auctions).
  •  For charitable events, distributions are not permitted to purchase goods/services or fees (i.e., purchase of tickets, fees to play golf in a tournament), only the charitable portion going to the organization is permitted (per IRS regulation).
  • Distributions may not be used for political contributions or to support political campaign activities.
  • United Way must make distribution checks payable to the recipient organization’s legal name, which may be different from the common use name, and must mail each check to the organization’s official address.
  • Distributions to educational organizations outside of Rhode Island are limited to scholarship funds and educational foundations.
  • Donations to religious organizations are limited to social service agencies and general fund drives only (e.g., Catholic Charities Fund Appeal, Jewish Federation, etc.). Gifts to individual places of worship are not eligible.

Philanthropy Account Contributions are Not Refundable

Any balance remaining on a Philanthropy Account at the end of the calendar year (December 31) will be transferred to United Way’s Community Impact Fund. I n the event of the death of a donor(s), all remaining funds shall be transferred to United Way’s Community Impact Fund.

Statements and Reporting

UWRI will provide you with quarterly statements of your account activities in early April, July and October. In late January, you will receive a complete record of your account for the previous calendar year.