Always United

Help keep our mission alive for generations to come.

Your support of United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg and our community can continue long past retirement. We offer flexible giving options from annual gifts to long-term planned gifts, as well as sharing your time and talent through volunteer engagement and advocacy.

Continue Your Generosity

While your workplace giving might end at retirement, your support of United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg and our community can continue through a variety of giving opportunities.

We offer a variety of giving methods tailored to your preferences. Options range from an annual gift to recurring billing options. Payments are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law in the year they are received.

Pledges & Annual Gifts


Pledges are a great option if you are considering a larger gift and wish to establish a schedule of payments stretched over a period of months or years. Statements can be sent at regular intervals as requested.

Annual Gifts

Annual gifts can be made in a variety of ways. The United Way team is available to consult with you about your preferred method and timing for your gift and can offer annual meetings and updates to touch base on the status of your contribution.

Stocks & Real Estate

If you want to support United Way without dipping into your cash reserves, consider donating appreciated assets such as stocks or real estate directly. This strategy can eliminate capital gains taxes you would incur by selling them separately before donating the cash, therefore ensuring that United Way receives the full value of the asset.

Retirement Distribution

As you consider your yearly gift to United Way, all or a portion of your contribution can be distributed from your retirement plan assets. In order to donate retirement plan assets during your lifetime you would need to take a distribution from the retirement account, include the distribution in your income for that year, account for any taxes associated with the distribution and then contribute cash to the charity—with one exception. Depending on your age and current tax law you may be eligible to contribute from an IRA directly to a charity and avoid paying income taxes on the distribution. This is known as a qualified charitable distribution. It is limited to IRAs, and there are other exclusions and considerations as well.

Leave a Legacy

Making a planned gift to United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg is a great way to preserve your values, inspire others around you to give and to forever leave your mark on your community.

Planned gifts allow you to have a long-lasting positive impact in your community and can come with added tax benefits. These types of gifts can be arranged by naming United Way as a beneficiary on your will or trust, retirement assets, life insurance proceeds, or inclusion in your estate plan.

Before making any planned gift, we encourage you to consult with your financial advisor and share your decision with United Way.

Retirement Plan Assets

When you name United Way as a beneficiary to receive your IRA or other retirement assets upon your death, rather than donating retirement assets during your lifetime, the benefits multiply:

  • Your heirs and estate will avoid paying income taxes on the distribution of the assets.
  • Your estate will need to include the value of the assets as part of the gross estate but will receive a tax deduction for the charitable contribution, which can be used to offset the estate taxes.
  • Because charities do not pay income tax, the full amount of your retirement account will directly benefit the charity of your choice.
  • It’s possible to divide your retirement assets between charities and heirs according to any percentages you choose.

Advantages of Making a Donor-Advised Fund A Retirement Account Beneficiary

  • Although designating any qualified charity as a beneficiary usually allows an estate to claim a charitable contribution deduction, naming a public charity with a donor-advised fund program as beneficiary of a tax-deferred retirement account such as an IRA or 401(k) gives clients and heirs more flexibility. A donor-advised fund is a program of a public charity that functions like a tax-advantaged charitable checking account that can be used solely for giving.
  • Upon death, your IRA assets can fund the donor-advised fund, which can then be distributed to charities immediately or over time through an endowed giving program. Or, you can let a trusted friend or family member make the choice—a designated account successor can then make grant recommendations over time to the charities they would like to support.
  • Alternatively, you can use your assets to provide multiple heirs with a fund to support their individual charitable giving by specifying that the IRA be allocated across multiple Giving Accounts. In that case, individuals will have their own Giving Account, creating a legacy of giving that can stretch far into the future.

How to Designate a Charity as the Beneficiary of an IRA or 401(K)

  1. Fill out a designated beneficiary form through your employer or your plan administrator. Most banks and financial services firms also have beneficiary forms, or they can provide you with suggested language for naming beneficiaries to these accounts.
  2. Once the designated beneficiary forms are in place, the retirement assets will generally pass directly to your beneficiaries (including charities) without going through probate. If you are married, ask the plan administrator whether your spouse is required to consent. If required but not done, this could result in a disqualification of the charity as your beneficiary.
  3. Be clear about your wishes with your spouse, lawyer and any financial advisors, giving a copy of the completed beneficiary forms as necessary and notifying United Way of your decision.


Including United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg in your will cements and celebrates your legacy of generosity and service to others by leaving a permanent mark as well as inspiring current and future generations through your example. You can easily add United Way to a new will or include a provision in an existing will through a codicil and make changes at any time, leaving a lasting legacy.


Creating a will is one of the most impactful ways to support the people and causes you love, and everyone needs one. United Way has partnered with FreeWill to offer you a free and easy way to write your legal will today. In an effort to perpetuate their legacy, many individuals include a gift through their will to United Way to support our community for decades to come.

The service is free whether or not you choose to leave a gift. You can also use the tools found here to start your will and document your wishes before visiting a legal advisor.

Stay Engaged & Connected

Sign Up to Receive Communications

Sign up to receive communications about United Way volunteer opportunities and events. We have a variety of monthly newsletters highlighting our work and ways you can stay involved. Make sure your email is up to date by contacting us.

Stay Involved & Informed

Stay informed with what is happening at United Way with one-on-one update meetings with a dedicated staff member.

Share Time & Talent

Throughout the year, United Way offers a wide range of volunteer opportunities for all ages, interests and time commitments. From building learning trails and reading to elementary school children to providing job interview coaching for high school students, we offer many ways to give back to the community.

To receive updates about monthly volunteer opportunities or request specific information about each opportunity, please contact us.

Ongoing Opportunities

Literacy Kits

Literacy and early learning are critical to ensuring kids are ready for kindergarten and reading at grade-level by third grade. Throughout the year, United Way collects books and schools supplies that are assembled as literacy kits and distributed to students throughout the region. Volunteers are needed for collection, kit decorating and delivery throughout the year. Learn more.

Tax Assistance

United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax preparation for families and individuals with income of $55,000 or less. Volunteers receive special training and prepare income tax returns for qualifying families and individuals during the tax season at tax sites throughout the region.

Community Impact Council

United Way brings together more than 40 local volunteers with diverse backgrounds in community planning, human service systems, research, needs and asset assessments, local government and more.

The Community Impact Council, a sub-committee of the Board of Directors, understands both United Way’s strategic framework and the ever-changing needs of the region. The group reviews data, research and best practices and maintain periodic contact with funded programs and agencies.

The Community Impact Council is responsible for:

  • Monthly meetings to monitor and assess community and human service needs;
  • Making recommendations that enable United Way to effectively allocate resources;
  • Dispatching volunteers and building out a suite of initiatives and programs to meet the community’s needs.

For more information on Always United, contact:

Samantha McCabe 
Director of Major Gifts
United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg