New Survey Finds Majority of Millennials Stress Over Filing Taxes

new survey, conducted by United Way Worldwide, finds that 74 percent of millennial respondents indicate they felt some level of stress around filing their returns. The survey of over 1,000 millennials (those between the ages of 18-36) reveals that common stressors include making a mistake (48 percent) and not getting a full refund (23 percent).

Additionally, the survey found that millennials are not claiming the tax credits that they have earned. Fifty percent of those surveyed did not claim any tax credits last year; 67 percent of respondents were interested in learning more about tax credits for which they are eligible, including the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit.

United Way is proud to partner with H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) to provide MyFreeTaxes, a valuable tool that can ease the stress of tax season by helping filers claim the tax credits for which they qualify. MyFreeTaxes is a free, easy and safe tool for anyone earning less than $66,000 to file federal and state taxes.

“United Way’s free tax preparation service, MyFreeTaxes, is the longest standing service provided by a nonprofit,” said Mary Sellers, U.S. President, United Way Worldwide. “Our mission is to help every person in every community achieve financial stability. With so many millennials experiencing stress during tax season, we encourage them – and any qualifying individual – to use our free and easy tax preparation service. The tool will help them claim all the credits they deserve and save on tax filing fees in order to pay down debt, increase savings and reduce the stress they feel around tax season.”

MyFreeTaxes is completely free for households that earned less than $66,000 in 2017. United Way and longtime partner, H&R Block, have provided free tax filing services for federal and state taxes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia since 2009, helping almost one million taxpayers claim every tax deduction and credit for which they are eligible. These tax deductions and credits lead to refunds, totaling $180 million since 2009, that enable individuals and families to improve their financial stability by putting more money back in their pockets. United Way believes that people everywhere should have an opportunity to advance their economic status and is proud to partner with H&R Block to provide a valuable tool to help people better manage their money and get on more solid financial ground.


Qualifying filers, those earning less than $66,000, can enter data into a secure website,, anytime, from anywhere, making it easy to update the documents from home, at work or on mobile devices. The service also includes a helpline, 1-855-MY-TX-HELP, which operates through April 30 from 10:00 am until 10:00 pm EST Monday through Friday and noon to 9:00 pm EST Saturday.  The website also provides a live chat function. MyFreeTaxes is provided by United Way and H&R Block, which offers safe and secure software and guarantees that tax returns are 100 percent accurate.

About United Way Worldwide

United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Supported by 2.9 million volunteers, 9.8 million donors worldwide and $4.7 billion raised every year, United Way is the world’s largest privately-funded nonprofit. We’re engaged in 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labor leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. For more information about United Way, please visit Follow us on Twitter: @UnitedWay and #LiveUnited.

About H&R Block

H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE:HRB) is a global consumer tax services provider. Tax return preparation services are provided by professional tax preparers in approximately 12,000 company-owned and franchise retail tax offices worldwide, and through H&R Block tax software products for the DIY consumer. H&R Block also offers adjacent Tax Plus products and services. In fiscal 2017, H&R Block had annual revenues of over $3 billion with 23 million tax returns prepared worldwide. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom.


Southerlyn Reisig, United Way
Tel. 703.836.7100 ext.321

Christine Sanchez, United Way
Tel. 703-836-7100 ext. 564

Susan Waldron, H&R Block
Tel. 816-854-5522

Community-Wide and Place Matters Program Investments: FY 2017/2018

Click here to download this document as a printable PDF.

Program Name

Lead Agency

Community-Wide (CW) or Place Matters (PM)

Collaborating Partners

Revised Program Funding Level*

Outpatient Therapy Alexander Youth Network

(formerly Youth Opportunities)




Response Recovery American Red Cross




Therapeutic Day Program Amos Cottage


WS/FC Schools


Emergency Day and Night Shelter Bethesda Center


Insight Human Services


Big Achievers Big Brothers Big Sisters




Therapy Bowman Gray Child Guidance




Learning for Life Boy Scouts


WS/FC Schools


Patient Advocate and Minority Outreach Cancer Services


Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Novant Health

Multiple Area Churches


Young Parent Support Program Catholic Charities


Forsyth Tech


The Nest Centers for Exceptional Children


Integrating Primary Medical Care in a Substance Abuse/Mental Health Setting Community Care Center


Insight Human Services


Providing Access to Healthcare Services and Medicines for Low Income Uninsured Residents Community Care Center




African American Males Pursuing Educational Dreams Crosby Scholars




Day and Employment Supports Enrichment Center




Parent Aide & Welcome Baby Exchange SCAN




STA Safe Exchange SCAN




Asset Building Connectors Experiment in Self-Reliance




New Century IDA (Individual Development Accounts) Program Experiment in Self-Reliance




Pathways of Caring/Transitional Housing Experiment in Self-Reliance




Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Experiment in Self-Reliance




Ways to Work Family Services




Strong@Home Family Services


Habitat for Humanity

Goodwill Industries


Financial Pathways of the Piedmont


Mental Health Counseling Family Services




Safe Relationships/Child Abuse Family Services




Safe Relationships/Intimate Partner Violence Family Services




School-Based Counseling Family Services




Comprehensive Relapse Prevention Program Fellowship Home




Financial Capability Initiative Financial Pathways of the Piedmont




Prosperity Center Goodwill Industries


Financial Pathways of the Piedmont


Forsyth Integrated Health Network Insight Human Services



Bethesda Center

Community Care Center

Old Vineyard Behavioral Health Services

Oxford House


Legal Advocacy in Family Violence Legal Aid of North Carolina


Children’s’ Law Center of Central North Carolina


Truancy Mediation Mediation Services


WS/FC Schools – Social Workers Department


Health Information & Referral Crisis Intervention Training Mental Health Association




Boys & Girls Club Salvation Army


Insight Human Services


Food & Shelter Salvation Army


Insight Human Services


Food Distribution Second Harvest Food Bank




Triad Community Kitchen Second Harvest Food Bank




Group Homes Springwell Network (fka Groups Homes of Forsyth)




Project Graduation Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools


3 High Schools

3 Middle Schools

3-5 Elementary Schools


Workforce Development Winston-Salem Urban League


Forsyth Tech


Education Achievers YMCA


Crosby Scholars


Literacy Works Program YMCA


Forsyth Tech

Piedmont Triad Workforce Development

Forsyth County Libraries

Goodwill Industries

Knollwood Baptist Church

Bolton, Brunson, Wiley Schools


Summer Learning Academies YMCA




Best Choice Academic After School & Summer Camp Programs YWCA


Big Brothers Big Sisters

Crosby Scholars

Easton Elementary

Hall-Woodward Elementary


Gateway to Success Integrated Medical Model Preventing Chronic Disease YWCA


Novant Health

Wake Forest Baptist Health


Second Chance Graduation YWCA




Supportive Services YWCA




Student Health and Resource Center Alexander Youth Network

(formerly Youth Opportunities)




Body & Soul Nutritious Eating and Active Living Cancer Services




Stay the Course Catholic Charities




Healthcare Services for Place Matters Neighborhood Residents Community Care Center




Healthy Eating Initiative Crisis Control


Forsyth County Cooperative Extension

Grace Presbyterian Church*


Pathways of Caring-Outreach for Strengthening Communities Experiment in Self-Reliance


Salvation Army


New Communion: Mobile Food Pantry First Christian Church




Girl Scout Outreach Program Girl Scouts




JRAMS (Jackets & Rams Achieving Maximum Success) Grace Presbyterian Church


Winston-Salem State University


Castle Heights Initiative Guiding Institute for Developmental Education (GIDE)


Winston-Salem State University

Winston-Salem Urban League

Family Services

Smart Start of Forsyth County


Imprint Cares, Community Matters Imprints Cares


Children’s Home Society of NC

Smart Start of Forsyth County


Insight Skills Development Insight Human Services



Imprints Cares

Salvation Army


Building Blocks for the Future in Our Neighborhood Liberty East Redevelopment*


Experiment in Self-Reliance

Habitat for Humanity


The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club and CiVIC Community Center Salvation Army


Mental Health Association



WS/FC Schools Be(e) Legendary Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools




Rams Employment and Community Health Equity (REACHE) Winston-Salem State University: School of Health Science*


Habitat for Humanity


Neighborhood Empowerment Through Technology (NETT) Winston-Salem Urban League



Forsyth County Library

Winston-Salem State University


CiVIC Child Care Solutions Work Family Resource Center


Through Unity Reformation is N-evitable (TURN)


East Winston STRIDE (Serving Together by Reducing the Impact of Diabetes through Empowerment) YMCA


Novant Health


East Winston Student Enrichment YMCA




Best Choice Academic After School & Summer Camp Programs

(Place Matters Focus)





Other Funded Initiatives and Donor Agency Designations
Hospice & Palliative Care Center      


Total Community-Wide Program Investments      


Total Place Matters Program Investments      


Total United Way Program Investments: FY2017/18

(including Hospice. Does Not Include  Additional Agency Designations and Other Funding Sources)


The Powerful Questions behind Jeff Bezos’ Philanthropy Tweet

In mid-June, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos shook things up – again.

I’m not talking about Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods, although in many places that is a big deal.

I’m talking about Bezos’ tweet on June 15th, when he asked for ideas for his emerging philanthropy strategy.  Jeff said he spends most of his time working on ‘the long-term,’ but for philanthropy, he’s interested in the other end of the spectrum: the ‘right now.’

Jeff’s 140-character request gets at the heart of philanthropy.  How best can we create a happier and healthier society?  How do we balance support for urgent need with long-term solutions that attack root causes?

United Way works on both ends of this spectrum.  We support food kitchens, homeless shelters and health clinics.  We also bring community, business and government leaders together to examine long-term problems, like the jobs-skills divide, and find solutions that could take years to bear fruit.  Yet when they do, they create widespread positive change.

In response to Jeff’s tweet, I asked him to consider long-term needs in his philanthropy strategy.  One-hundred forty characters didn’t fully capture what I wanted to say, so I followed up with a letter.

In my letter, I told Jeff that he’s the kind of disrupting force that philanthropy needs.  He didn’t build Amazon into one of the world’s most powerful, game-changing companies without thinking about how technology would affect our lives or how we prefer to consume.  That’s why I think he should embrace a similar way of thinking when it comes to helping people lead better lives.

I asked Jeff, who started Amazon when the internet was in its infancy and now runs a revolutionary aerospace company, to ponder questions like these:

  • What systems can we change to help millions of people, not hundreds?
  • What partners can we cultivate to develop new technologies that allow people to do things like learn more – and learn faster?
  • What barriers can we break that keep us from coming together to solve our most difficult challenges?

In other words, I’m hoping Jeff is willing to disrupt philanthropy for the better.  Of course, he should address the many immediate needs facing our society – and his tweet received some great responses to that effect – but I’m hoping he’ll also apply his talents and experiences in creative, long-term ways.

I’m hopeful that Jeff will reply and ask how we can work together.  But I also want to know what you think.  How should non-profits and philanthropists balance short- and long-term needs?  How can philanthropy be ‘disrupted’ for the better?  How could technology play a part?

By BRIAN GALLAGHER , CEO, United Way Worldwide

5 Advocacy Wins We Accomplished Together In 2017

While 2017 was a challenging and politically divisive year, United Ways, partners and supporters stepped up to advocate for the communities we serve and managed to accomplish several policy wins to improve opportunity for all.

We would like to thank the United Way network for all the ways you advocated this year – Capitol Hill Days, letters to Congress, targeted outreach, site visits, social media and more. It made the difference. We will be calling on you to continue the fight in 2018 – particularly on tax reform and possible cuts to entitlement programs.

But, for now, we thank you for standing up and giving a voice to those we serve.

Here are just a few things we accomplished, with your help, this year:

1. Restored funding for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA):

This summer, the House Financial Services Subcommittee voted to cut the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) by 50% (from $15 million to $7.5 million) in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 appropriations bill. Fortunately, due to targeted outreach to members of Congress on the Appropriations Committee, local United Ways and supporters communicated the value of this critical program and worked with several congressional offices to restore funding to $15 million for VITA in a technical fix to the bill. The amended bill was passed by the full Appropriations Committee on Thursday, July 13th.

2. Met with nearly 300 members of Congress and sent over 9,500 letters to Capitol Hill:

This year, the United Way network met with and communicated the organization’s priorities to hundreds of members of Congress. Facing threats to the charitable deduction, budget cuts to safety net programs, and political uncertainty on health reform, United Way CEOs, staff and volunteers stormed Capitol Hill, met with members in district offices, and sent thousands of letters to Congress to fight for the health, education and financial stability of the communities we serve.

3. Fought for robust funding for Health, Education and Financial Stability:

Given the Administration’s proposed budget cuts this year and the current political environment, we expected an uphill battle to maintain funding for health, education, and financial stability programs. Fortunately, the United Way network and supporters rallied support for funding for critical community services and programs in the FY 2017 and FY 2018 appropriations bills. The FY 2017 appropriations bill, which funded the federal government through September 2017, was largely a success for United Way priorities, allocating level funding for programs such as EFSP, VITA, Head Start, CCDBG, and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program.

The FY 2018 appropriations bill is still being debated in Congress. While we are gearing up for a fight, we secured several appropriations wins this year. The United Way network surpassed our goal to send 2,018 letters to Congress this year on the FY 2018 appropriations bill, for a total of 2,330 letters overall. What’s more, United Ways sent over 600 letters to Congress in one day in advance of an important subcommittee mark-up.

4. Launched the first-ever Advocacy Week of Action:

During August Recess, the United Way network and supporters around the country participated in a social media campaign to raise awareness about United Way’s top priorities. The week-long campaign, held on August 21-25, aimed to increase congressional and public support for United Way’s priorities in health, education and financial stability. As a result of this effort, 241 unique Twitter accounts contributed to the digital Advocacy Week of Action, garnering over 1.9 million social media impressions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. In addition, 50 United Way CEOs in the most influential congressional districts participated in a special policy call to strategize about communicating with their members of Congress during the August Recess.

5. Protected critical health programs from funding cuts and structural changes:

Through call-in days, action alerts, sign-on letters and digital advocacy campaigns, the United Way Health Advocacy Cohort coordinated grasstops and grassroots advocacy in support of the network’s health priorities. The Cohort now has over 95 local and state United Ways actively engaged in health policy-advocacy efforts. Despite attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, United Ways successfully advocated to ensure that these attempts did not result in a reduction of coverage for working Americans. In addition, United Ways worked to protect Medicaid from structural changes that could potentially have devastating consequences for state budgets, and healthcare coverage, and access for vulnerable populations.


By Sarah Yergeau

Financial Stability: Ways to save for the future

Saving for the Future

How can you think about saving for the future when you have student loan debt, a car loan, credit cards or maybe all of these?  Saving for the future may be an idea that is hard to digest but it is one that is important to consider.  You may have dreams…of travel, getting married, or buying your own home.  Starting to save today will help you realize those dreams in the future.

To get where you want to go, you must first start by taking a look at where you are.  The best way to do that is by tracking your income and spending for a number of months until you start to notice the trends of how you spend your money.  Three months of tracking is a good place to start.  Track all of the income that you receive each month, through your steady job as well as any side jobs that you may have. Then track your spending.  Start with food and medicine, as they are the most important to your survival.  Then note your housing and transportation costs.  And don’t forget to track expenses that are not so predictable, like hobbies and entertainment.  By tracking your income and spending, you will have a good sense of where your money comes and goes.

Do the ways that you spend your money reflect your values? Help you to achieve your goals?  If the answer is yes, then keep doing what you are doing.  If the answer is no, then it may be time to reconsider the expense and make the changes necessary to align your spending with your values and goals.

You may need to make more room in your budget for saving.  Look at some of your larger expenses first. Housing tends to be one of the largest expenses in people’s budgets. Are you paying more than you should for housing in your area?  Maybe you can move to a smaller space, get a roommate, or move in with family for a period of time. Transportation costs can also grab a large percentage of your budget.  If you have your own car you are likely paying a car loan as well as insurance, gas and maintenance. Is is really necessary to own your own car? Is there reliable public transportation where you live and work?  Can you get by using public transportation along with the occasional ride share?  Reducing transportation costs can go a long way towards helping you save for other goals.

Then, look at your debt payments.  Interest payments add up over time and can take a big bite out of your budget.  If you are making minimum payments on your credit cards consider making higher monthly payments with a goal of eventually paying your credit card bills in full each month.  Also, take a look at your student loan payments.  Graduates are automatically set up in standard ten-year repayment terms that can be difficult to pay each month.  If that is the case for you then contact your loan servicer to discuss other repayment options.

What are your goals?

It is easier to stay on track with saving if there is something you want to save for.  To reach a SMART goal, you will need to make a plan. The framework SMART stands for:

  • Specific – clearly define your goal, including a timeframe for achieving it.
  • Measurable – if your goal involves a financial commitment, you can measure progress by how much you saved toward it.
  • Attainable – is acheving your goal more important than the time, effort, and money it will take, compared to all of your other obligations and priorities?
  • Relevant – why do you want to reach this goal? What is the objective behind the goal, and will this goal really achieve that?
  • Timely – assigning a deadline for your goal will motivate you and keep you accountable.

Applying SMART Goals to your dreams brings them from the abstract to the concrete. It gives you a timetable by which you can achieve them. If discover that your goals isn’t as realistic as you once thought, you can change the scope or timeline to make it a goal that you can attain.

Automate, automate, automate

There is a saying that you should “pay yourself first.”  But how can you do that when there are so many other spending priorities competing for your attention?  The easiest way to do that is to automate your savings. You can use either direct deposit or an automatic transfer from checking to savings each month.  Start small:  an automatic transfer of $10 each week will grow your savings balance to $500 within a year and $1,000 by the end of the second year.

For more tools and resources click here.

How To Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Right about now, many of us are making the same New Year’s resolutions we made a year ago. Eat better. Exercise more. And so on.

Not inspired? Try linking your desire to improve your life with your ability to improve someone else’s life. Consider these common New Year’s resolutions and how volunteering can help you keep them.

Be healthy. Doing good is good for you! A growing body of research links volunteering and benefits to mental and physical health, like reducing stress and the risk of hyper-tension, building self-esteem, and strengthening social connections.

Lose weight. Volunteering can keep you moving and burning extra calories. Consider helping out with a 5K race, packing meals for food insecure families or getting involved with kids’ fitness and nutrition initiatives to inspire you to move more and eat better. Plan to run with us in September at our Moonlight Madness Run at Bailey Park.

Spend less/save more. Share your money-smart ways with people who may be struggling to make ends meet. Improve a family’s financial security by volunteering to help plan and teach financial literacy classes or prepare tax returns.

Spend more time with family. Volunteering as a family teaches children the importance of helping others, teamwork, and generosity and builds stronger connections between family members and your community. Check out these great ideas for engaging kids and teens in service and volunteering.

Travel. Volunteering away from home expands your horizons further than leisure travel. Being exposed to different cultures is also good for the communities you serve. International UN Volunteers deploys thousands of volunteers from more than 150 countries across the globe. Go Overseas and Volunteer Forever offer reviews of programs that accept international volunteers.

Read more. Kids who develop strong reading skills at a young age are more likely to succeed in school, work and life. Reading with and tutoring young students is one of the very best ways to volunteer your time and energy.
Whatever you resolve to do in 2018, make it a happier New Year for you and someone else by volunteering.

Written By: Janelle Touma