Q: What is an NGO?
A: NGO is an acronym for non-governmental organization. For the purpose of this website, an NGO is a private, often non-profit, organization dedicated to helping others.
Q: What's the difference between the Western Union Foundation and Western Union's Education for Better program?
A: The Education for Better program is a corporate-wide program that connects people with secondary and vocational education programs. Through the program, the Western Union Company and the Western Union Foundation support secondary and vocational education programs that facilitate financial and economic opportunity for individuals and their families and communities.
Q: Why doesn't Western Union fund public health programs, the arts or programs that don't focus on economic opportunity and education?
A: Western Union recognizes that the communities where our employees and customers live and work include a wide range of deserving issues and organizations. Yet, we cannot meaningfully impact every cause. By focusing our efforts on a single cause, we can develop deeper partnerships and tap a broad range of assets - including the time and expertise of our colleagues - for greater impact and social benefit.
Q: How do I become a Western Union Agent?
A: To learn more about The Western Union Company or how to become a Western Union® Agent, please visit the AgentPortal on the Western Union website.
Grants and funding
Q: Can individuals apply for a grant?
A: The Western Union Foundation only accepts solicited grant proposals from organizations that are dedicated to promoting economic opportunity and education. Learn more
Q: How does my organization apply for a grant?
In order to maximize resources and realize a greater social impact in the communities we serve, the Foundation does not accept unsolicited grant proposals.
Q: What types of grants do you fund?
The Western Union Foundation solicits proposals to foster economic opportunity through education and economic development programs. In the past, this has included job training, life skills development, small business development, financial literacy, assistance to migrant and immigrant communities, and scholarships. Learn more
Q: How does the Western Union Foundation choose which organizations receive grant funding?
A: The Foundation solicits grant proposals from organizations that meet a variety of criteria, including alignment with Foundation funding principles, geographic priorities, the ability to work with target audiences or designated populations, a focus on issues related to economic opportunity, and the ability to work within specific project requirements. Once a grant proposal is submitted, it is reviewed by the experienced Foundation team to ensure that all of the criteria are met, that the organization is fiscally and operationally sound, and to identify opportunities for greater social impact. All grant requests are reviewed and approved by the Western Union Foundation Board of Directors on a quarterly basis.
Q: How do you keep track of projects once they have been funded?
A: Western Union Foundation grants are tracked throughout the one-year grant lifecycle. As part of the grant, all NGOs must provide a 6-month report half way through the funding process and a final 12-month grant report. Additionally, the Foundation's professional staff often maintain regular contact with NGOs outside of the official reporting periods, and Western Union may conduct site visits and/or beneficiary interviews to further assess programmatic impact.
Q: Do you fund grants for projects in the U.S.?
A: Yes. The Foundation funds grants to organizations providing education and economic opportunity programs all across the globe - with priority given to projects designated to help people in specific countries and U.S. cities. Learn more
Q: How do I apply for a scholarship?
Through the Western Union Foundation Family Scholarship program, two members of one family can receive a scholarship to help achieve the type of education they need in order to create a brighter future for their entire family. Applicants must meet specific program requirements to apply. Learn more
Q: Do I have to be an immigrant to apply for a family scholarship?
A: To apply for the Western Union Family Scholarship program, at least one of the applicants from a single family must be born outside the United States. Both applicants must be living in the United States currently. Learn more
Q: Are donations to the Foundation tax deductible?
A: The Western Union Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization. Your donation is tax-deductible as allowed by U.S. law.
Q: Can people outside of Western Union donate and participate in Foundation activities?
A: At the Western Union Foundation, we offer a variety of ways for Western Union consumers, vendors and friends to get involved and contribute to our work. Learn more
Q: How do you raise money?
A: The Western Union Foundation raises money through our Western Union employee and Agent Giving Circle programs, donations from friends and through our annual Golf Tournament and Silent Auction events.
Q: Can I donate money to be used for a specific type of grant in a specific country?
A: Generally, to achieve the greatest impact, money donated to the Western Union Foundation is pooled with other donations to help people most in need around the world. Together, our experienced team and Board of Directors choose NGOs and projects for funding that meet our strict funding criteria. Learn more
Additionally, in many cases, Western Union offers the ability for consumers to donate toward special projects and/or disaster relief efforts by sending a no fee money transfer* to the Western Union Foundation account and/or to specific accounts set up for direct funding to NGOs. Generally, these types of disaster relief donations can be made by visiting a participating Western Union® Agent location or going online to westernunion.com.
Q: How do you respond so quickly to natural disasters?
When a natural disaster strikes, Western Union and The Western Union Foundation work together to orchestrate an initial response. The Western Union® Crisis Management team leads our disaster response effort, working with a wide variety of other departments to coordinate efforts, ensure employee safety and the viability of Western Union Agents, as well as to coordinate a company-wide response, including Foundation disaster relief grants.
At the same time, the Foundation team contacts NGOs that have the experience and capability necessary to provide immediate, direct relief. These NGOs have a proven track record in providing and organizing the distribution of basic relief services and supplies. Once the chosen NGOs are contacted, the Foundation team works to ensure that funding is directed toward immediate relief efforts. Learn more
* IN ADDITION TO THE TRANSFER FEE, WESTERN UNION ALSO MAKES MONEY WHEN IT CHANGES YOUR DOLLARS INTO FOREIGN CURRENCY.