PLATINUM2024

UNITED WAY OF SOUTH TEXAS

LIVE UNITED/ UNITED IN PURPOSE

McAllen, TX   |  www.unitedwayofsotx.org

Mission

Our mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community to advance the common good. We work to allow all individuals and families an opportunity to achieve their human potential through education, financial stability, healthy lives and safety net services.

Notes from the nonprofit

By contributing to United Way of South Texas, you make the most impact with one contribution in Hidalgo and Starr Counties. United Way of South Texas invests in programs that address critical services in the areas of Health, Education, Financial Stability, and Safety Net. The organization supports over 22 non-profit agencies in Hidalgo and Starr Counties that serve a minimum of 185,000 local residents annually. Some of the services provided by United Way of South Texas through Partner Agencies include emergency shelter, family violence counseling, mental health wellness, small business development, character building programs, child victim advocacy, and infant stimulation classes.

Ruling year info

1981

President/CPO

Mrs. Lilia Lopez

VP/Resource Development Director

Mrs. Janet Terrazas

Main address

113 W. Pecan Blvd.

McAllen, TX 78501 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

74-2052527

NTEE code info

Fund Raising Organizations That Cross Categories includes Community Funds/Trusts and Federated Giving Programs) e.g. United Way (T70)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (P12)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Junior Staff Program/Boys and Girls Clubs

We are funding Junior Staff Programs at 7 Boys and Girls Clubs in our region. This program teaches youth responsibilities around specific assigned tasks. Some of the lessons include, punctuality, interpersonal and organizational skills, improved self esteem, resume and interview preparation, and being positive roles models for the younger participants. The rewards for the Junior Staff include field trips, back to school supplies and clothing, and in some cases scholarships towards a Community College or a University.
Most of the youth involved are from families living in extreme poverty and would not have opportunities described above.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

VITA is a free income tax preparation service helping local families who earn $60,000 or less. Volunteers are certified by the IRS to prepare and file taxes. Every year, there are 14 to 16 VITA sites throughout Hidalgo and Starr Counties available to residents for this assistance. During the 2022-2023 tax season, about 164 volunteers assisted 2,977 families. The families saved approximately $893,100 and received over $4.4 Million in returns.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Veterans
Older adults
Low-income people

United Way launched Day of Caring "Project FreshStart" in 2011 to provide school supplies for high school Freshmen. Since the start of this project, UWST has invested $292,761 for 31,600 Freshmen across 16 school districts in Hidalgo & Starr Counties. Every year, over 225 volunteers gather to assemble the bags of school supplies.
The program targets high school Freshmen, as local research showed that this was the year that children who live in poverty consider dropping out of school. United Way seeks to eliminate financial barriers that may prompt students to leave school.

Population(s) Served
Students

United Way's Youth Leadership Mentorship Program empowers Juniors and Freshmen with leadership skills, soft skills, volunteer opportunities and financial literacy training. School counselors identify Freshmen to participate as mentees and Juniors apply to become volunteer mentors. In the past three years, 576 students have benefitted from the program.

Population(s) Served
Students

Every year, one hundred and fifty junior high students from 16 school districts return to school "in style" with the help of United Way and Target Stores. United Way awards the same opportunity to every participating school district in Hidalgo & Starr Counties on a rotating basis. Each student receives a $150 gift card to purchase school clothing and personal hygiene items. United Way also recruits hair stylists who donate their time and offer free haircuts to all participants. Target donates backpacks with school supplies. Over 2,200 United Way supporters from companies that run United Way Employee Campaigns volunteer as "Shopping Buddies" and help students select school attire.

Population(s) Served
Students

United Way of South Texas, in collaboration with the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and Wells Fargo, launched Latina Hope in 2009. This program helps economically disadvantaged women start a small business venture from their homes by participating in bilingual sessions that consist of knowledge on personal finance, marketing principals, operational management and business plan development. Additionally, participants have the opportunity to network, acquire additional craft skills, and enhance their social media presence. After completing the sessions, they compete for a $250 grant for supplies. The program expanded its services by providing women with their own e-commerce business to launch an online presence. Participates have received guidance on building their website, uploading media, copywriting, setting up online payments, and making their product and service live.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of children who received school supplies

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Day of Caring "Project FreshStart"

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The school social workers identify the most needy. 6-8 school districts out of 18 are rotated on an annual basis for the last 13 yrs. We are helping students start the year with much needed tools.

Number of low to moderate income families served for free tax preparation services.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Families, Retired people

Related Program

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Serve more families who invest their returns in paying bills and in the local economy. Saving families an average of $300 per year. Providing basic budgeting classes, starting savings accounts.

Number of transportation vouchers distributed.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Seniors, Unemployed people, Veterans

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

Conducted this program for 16 yrs. Help connect people to medical, job seeking/training and access social service agencies. This encourages self sufficiency and independence. Helps elderly, veterans

Number of children receiving back to school clothing.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Back to School "In Style" Shopping Spree

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Helps 150 middle school students yearly with new clothing, haircuts, hygiene products to help them fit in and stay in school and positive attitudes. Self esteem shows significant improvement.

Number of women learning/empowered to start a business.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Courses to empower women on starting a business. Topics such as building a business plan and basic budgeting are provided. At the end of program a $250 grant is provided to help purchase supplies.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The three specific goals are:
1) Build leading synergies to bridge gaps and services. Continue to identify resources to help partners and school districts deal with mental health, homelessness of student population, and food insecurity.
2) Maximize public relations platforms to expand United Way impact message; thus educating the community about available health and human services and volunteer opportunities.
3)Expand the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program to include finance literacy education tools to at least 50% of the projected 2,800 families served.

1) The Education Council, led by a Region One ESC Board Member and comprised of 8 school district representatives, meet to discuss issues of interest and gaps in services. We facilitate conversations that identify specific topics unique to Hidalgo and Starr Counties. Some of these concerns include the number of youth who are homeless due to deportation of undocumented parents. Children and youth are often left with a distant relative or a friend who do not want or cannot take on the responsibility of raising additional children. At one school district the Parental Involvement Director has identified over 170 youth who meet the description of "homelessness" but the families refuse to acknowledge their state of being for fear of deportation. These teens are alone, feeling abandoned and at risk of human trafficking. In addition, families of diverse financial backgrounds are struggling to put food on the table. In our community, this includes multiple generation households; as many as four households living in one home. We actively work with community leaders to find solutions to this dynamic challenge. The Youth Leadership mental health compound.
2) The UW of So. TX. has established internal goals to increase messaging by on social media platforms . This alone informs more community members about our work, volunteer opportunities and their impact. A Volunteer Management Program was launched in 2015. The growth was steady, however, the pandemic reduced volunteer responses. United Way staff, along with volunteer Board Community Relations Co-Chair, have created a marketing and Communications Calendar and are documenting and ensuring engagement on social media platforms.
3) The United Way of South Texas expanded the VITA committee's responsibilities to include Financial Literacy and begin basic budgeting sessions to help clients set financial goals. In addition, the partnership with AmeriCorps NCCC, added nine full-time members to the staff (8 UW staff) for a fourteen week period. Their primary function is to support the VITA Program, which includes offering Financial Literacy tools at designated sites (5).

With the leadership of the Board of Directors and staff executing strategies to accomplish these goals, we believe these goals can be met. Local businesses are engaged in the work and are committed to dedicating skills, talents and time to help the organization do the work. One additional staff member was added in December of 2022, for a total of eight full-time personnel. The new Administrative Specialist provides executive support to the four professional staff and Financial Stability Coordinator.

For each goal, we either have a baseline, i.e. number of children and youth dropping out as a result of homelessness, or number of families served thru VITA and Financial Literacy provided to them, and tracking volunteer hours dedicated to nonprofits in our region. Since these goals are overseen by United Way of South Texas, the numbers will demonstrate progress.

1) In addition, United Way is funding five food pantries in Hidalgo & Starr Counties, to help alleviate food insecurity. One pantry is located at a district in a very low income community.
2) The UW of So. TX. has increased messaging on social media platforms by 50%. In addition, the website was revamped in 2023. This alone informs more community members about our work, volunteer opportunities and their impact. Staff is working on offering more training to non-profits and agencies that are interested in recruiting volunteers and using the Volunteer Management platform.
3) In 2022, financial literacy tools were provided to over 900 families, or 44% of clients. 2023 numbers are pending.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Financials

UNITED WAY OF SOUTH TEXAS
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

UNITED WAY OF SOUTH TEXAS

Board of directors
as of 03/21/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Gerardo Paz

South Texas Federal Credit Union

Term: 2024 - 2025

Cyndy Ramos

Rally Credit Union

Tyler Stone

RIOCO

Raul E Sesin

Hidalgo County Drainage District #1

Dr. D'uAndre Drain

GE Aviation

Kimberly Davis

STHS- Children's Hospital

J.J. Serrano

H-E-B Retail Support Center

Larry Gonzalez

Plains Capital Bank

Michelle Quiroz

Reserva Coffee Roasters

Cris Moncayo

Vantage Bank Texas

Benita Mendell

AIM Media- The Monitor

Annette S Garcia

Region One ESC

Robert McGurk

Greater State Bank

Lee Jones

AEP - Texas

Blanca I Villalobos

International Bank of Commerce

Cesar Rodriguez

City of McAllen

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/12/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/12/2024

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.