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  #51  
Old 07-30-2019, 04:35 PM
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I must be missing something. What is the benefit to employers to go to the trouble of strongarming employees to contribute to the United Way? There is a cost involved: payroll time and complexity, supervisors leaning on employees instead of working, employees listening to supervisors or presentations, general ill will among employees. These things are not free. What's in it for the employer?
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  #52  
Old 07-30-2019, 04:36 PM
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I must be missing something. What is the benefit to employers to go to the trouble of strongarming employees to contribute to the United Way? There is a cost involved: payroll time and complexity, supervisors leaning on employees instead of working, employees listening to supervisors or presentations, general ill will among employees. These things are not free. What's in it for the employer?
Good PR that the employees pay for.
  #53  
Old 07-30-2019, 04:44 PM
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Good PR that the employees pay for.
Yes, it's PR and bragging rights.

No money, no tax deductions.

and it's NOT United Way, it's the company. As I said before we got about the same amount of "strong arm" when the company wanted to win that Food bank plaque. Or any charity or cause. It aint UW, it's the companies competitiveness.

The reason why UW is so often picked is that it is totally non denominational. You can allocated to many charities.

Let say your company picked Salvation Army, a very popular charity, solidly in the top ten. But some dont like the Salvation Army and it's ways. But if you donate to UW, you can pick where your funds go to.

But people dont like being pressured, so they make up lies about UW, as evidenced here in this thread. Even tho it's the company, not uW.
  #54  
Old 07-30-2019, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Drum God View Post
I must be missing something. What is the benefit to employers to go to the trouble of strongarming employees to contribute to the United Way? There is a cost involved: payroll time and complexity, supervisors leaning on employees instead of working, employees listening to supervisors or presentations, general ill will among employees. These things are not free. What's in it for the employer?
Based on my limited experience, these organizations tend to trumpet their participation and contributions in various forms of public display. Plus, United Way itself publicizes "leadership donors", "corporate honor rolls", and other bullshit like that. It's all valuable public relations.
  #55  
Old 07-30-2019, 05:27 PM
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But people dont like being pressured, so they make up lies about UW, as evidenced here in this thread. Even tho it's the company, not uW.
Saying that people in this thread "make up lies" about UW is quite a charge.

People have related their experiences, sometimes negative, with United Way.

And some (or at least I) believe that the stories of pressure on employees to give are so commonplace that it seems unlikely that UW is unaware of the tactics used in its name.

Those aren't "lies." They are experience. And opinion.

However, your claim that I, personally, have been spreading hate about UW on message boards for decades is absolutely untruthful (and utterly ridiculous). I'm still waiting for you to explain that.

Last edited by Saintly Loser; 07-30-2019 at 05:28 PM.
  #56  
Old 07-30-2019, 05:38 PM
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I'm getting a better understanding of why the United Way collecting in my area makes a big point of being a local organization with a local volunteer board making the decisions and the money going to local nonprofits.

Web page says they give 1% to the national organization for use of the name, logo, and information; 13+% percent total overhead.
  #57  
Old 07-30-2019, 06:23 PM
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My question is why should I subsidize the lifestyles of extremely rich people? If they've got enough money to pay already rich people hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, I'll wait until I'm making more than that to think about handing money their way. I mean, it's a great scam to get in on, but I'm not interested in giving my money to any organization that is going to turn around and use my money to help fund some dude's mansion.

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The IRS Form 990 (2015) reports $5.6 million in compensation to 15 executives – an average of $335,000 each – at the national level which is summarized as follows:

$1,236,611: Brian Gallagher, President and CEO
$ 441,470: Stacey Stewart, President United Way USA
$ 404,128: Joseph V Haggerty, EVP Chief Operating Officer
$ 391,064: Robert Berdelle, EVP and CFO
  #58  
Old 07-30-2019, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Saintly Loser View Post
Saying that people in this thread "make up lies" about UW is quite a charge.

People have related their experiences, sometimes negative, with United Way.

And some (or at least I) believe that the stories of pressure on employees to give are so commonplace that it seems unlikely that UW is unaware of the tactics used in its name.

Those aren't "lies." They are experience. And opinion.

However, your claim that I, personally, have been spreading hate about UW on message boards for decades is absolutely untruthful (and utterly ridiculous). I'm still waiting for you to explain that.
1. A secretary to one of the administrators claimed it was because the United Way gave them a "kickback" percentage of the money given. I believe it. I've also read that the United Way keeps almost 3/4 of all the money given to them "to cover organizational costs". Altho A secretary may have said that, that is untrue. The second part is completely untrue. Refuted & cites given.

2. The only thing I can figure out is that the company wants a tax write off, and not only does the company contribute, they strong arm the employees to do the same, so that the company can get a bigger tax write off on the backs of their employees. That is untrue as contributions dont work like that. This has been refuted.

When people reply to a thread, and even reply to a post, they arent always addressing just YOU. In that case, i thought I made it clear I was addressing the OP, not you-personally.
  #59  
Old 07-30-2019, 09:37 PM
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When people reply to a thread, and even reply to a post, they arent always addressing just YOU. In that case, i thought I made it clear I was addressing the OP, not you-personally.
You wrote, responding to and quoting my post:

Quote:
In other words, you are blaming UW for something your company did, and have been spreading your hate on MB for a couple decades, right?
(emphasis mine)

Which certainly sounds like it's a response to me personally. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but that's what it sounds like.

But i accept your explantion that you thought you made it clear that you were addressing the OP. It wasn't clear at all, but I take your statement at face value.

Last edited by Saintly Loser; 07-30-2019 at 09:38 PM.
  #60  
Old 07-31-2019, 06:33 AM
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I certainly didn't lie about my experience with UW campaigns. It is so ubiquitous that it doesn't surprise me at all that so many people on this thread have commented that they've experienced the same thing. One of my friends (who works at a completely different company) calls it the "yearly mandatory voluntary contribution." And it never happens for any other campaign. We had a campaign for a co-worker who lost everything in a fire. Nobody talked to me or anybody else at all. A couple of years back we had a campaign to help out Syrian refugees. Nope, nothing. But it is almost guaranteed, every year during the UW campaign if you don't submit your card with a contribution somebody is coming to talk to you. The common factor is the UW. Now to DrDeth's point, is this the UW specifically coming and trying to strongarm me? Well, no, but like we used to say in the army. Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is enemy action (originally said by Ian Fleming I think). I highly suspect that UW reps are convincing the companies that there is some benefit to them to have 100% participation. I agree with what others have posted that it is highly likely to be a PR thing.
  #61  
Old 07-31-2019, 07:11 AM
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And just how did UW do this? Remember, it was a line supervisor according to this old story. Someone pretty far removed from UW.
[Godwin]And just how did the SS do this? It was an Einsatzgruppen according to this old story. People pretty far removed from Himmler[/Godwin]

If you want to defend the UW, defend the UW, but don't start by trying to nitpick and poke holes in other peoples' life experience.

Last edited by DesertDog; 07-31-2019 at 07:13 AM.
  #62  
Old 07-31-2019, 12:44 PM
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Way back in 2002, a group leader where I worked sent out an email asking for volunteers to help build a wheelchair ramp for a disabled person. It was part of a United Way project.

I volunteered. It was estimated to take three days to finish the job (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). The group leader gave out the address of the person's home. He told everyone to bring whatever tools we think we might need.

I gather a bunch of my tools and headed to the place Friday morning. At least 15 other people from my work showed up.

It was a nice ranch home in Beavercreek, Ohio. While I was busting out the old concrete steps using a sledge hammer, the homeowner came out to chat with us. He was walking and smoking a cigarette. He never said anything along the lines of "Thanks" or "I appreciate what you're doing." I said he had a nice place, and asked how much land he had. "We have 10 acres."

That sorta pissed me off. I knew for a fact the area he lived in had very high land values. Why couldn't he sell a couple acres of land? He could then easily pay for someone to build a ramp. Here I am, busting my ass trying to build this guy a ramp, and he lived in a much nicer place than me.

Around noon some guy from the United Way drove up in a brand new Cadillac. I guess he was the project manager, and wanted to see the progress. He didn't lift a finger to help, nor did he thank us.

After that experience, I never gave another fucking dime to the UW.
Agree about UW, but the "high value of land" thing caught my attention. We own 5 acres of 'high value land'. I would love to 'sell off a couple of acres', as we are getting up there in age, and no longer wish to take care of that much acreage. Unfortunately, there are zoning laws in place which prevent subdividing. Might be the case with the guy you're talking about.
  #63  
Old 07-31-2019, 01:11 PM
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[Godwin]And just how did the SS do this? It was an Einsatzgruppen according to this old story. People pretty far removed from Himmler[/Godwin]

If you want to defend the UW, defend the UW, but don't start by trying to nitpick and poke holes in other peoples' life experience.
Except Himmler is on record for ordering the Holocaust, and the Einsatzgruppen were under his orders.

UW is on recored for saying "dont do this" and the employees at the companies dont work for UW. Other that that- your godwinized comparison is spot on.
  #64  
Old 07-31-2019, 01:16 PM
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I certainly didn't lie about my experience with UW campaigns. It is so ubiquitous that it doesn't surprise me at all that so many people on this thread have commented that they've experienced the same thing. One of my friends (who works at a completely different company) calls it the "yearly mandatory voluntary contribution." And it never happens for any other campaign. We had a campaign for a co-worker who lost everything in a fire. Nobody talked to me or anybody else at all. .... The common factor is the UW. Now to DrDeth's point, is this the UW specifically coming and trying to strongarm me? Well, no, but like we used to say in the army. Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is enemy action (originally said by Ian Fleming I think). I highly suspect that UW reps are convincing the companies that there is some benefit to them to have 100% participation. I agree with what others have posted that it is highly likely to be a PR thing.
And I didnt question yours, since I know companies do this- but for any cause, not just the UW. For the Food bank, or Breast cancer or whatever. Sure it doesnt happen for individual losses, since the company isnt competing with others.

Like I said, I was the UW coord for my floor, and the UW rep not only didnt say anything like that, she specifically said it was against their rules.

Of course UW knows it happens, and they are happy to get the $. But they dont like the bad PR.
  #65  
Old 07-31-2019, 08:35 PM
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I don't always agree with Dr. Deth on these boards, but I think he's been very consistent and quite correct in this thread. It took a while for him to get around to the point, but eventually he crystalized the argument: Don't blame UW for strong-arm tactics perpetrated by your employer.

As he and a couple others have noted above, UW takes less than half the allowed* percentage of the donations in order to fund its operations.

Over the decades, March of Dimes and other "Donation Aggregators" have been similarly criticized for their executives' salaries and the breakdowns of their operating costs. Nevertheless, the undeniable fact is that they redistribute a greater percentage of the donations to other chartities which they have vetted and which have met their requirements.

The alternative is to
A) Donate nothing to any charity. Believe it or not, though, there really are people in this world who are altruistic and/or want to help others -- even strangers -- who are in need.

B) Donate directly to one or more charities. The problem, though, is that there are a lot of "Charity" organizations out there that really do spend more on themselves than on their charitable efforts. They exist only to prey upon those who have a genuine desire to help. [And after every big disaster, the American Red Cross warns people about scam agencies that are claiming to act on their behalf.]

How does the average guy satisfy his altruistic urge and donate to a truly worthy cause?
1) Spend hours (days?) researching 501(c)3 organizations, investigating their tax returns, balance sheets, causes, and personnel before choosing one or two that best fit your causes and criteria. Then send personal checks (cash and CC#s would be risky) directly to them.

2) Conduct searches for charities using CharityWatch and similar websites and resources to see which get the best ratings on the criteria you find important. Send personal checks to them.

3) Give directly (or indirectly -- "at the office") to charity aggregators like March of Dimes and United Way and similar organizations, trusting that they have criteria that their beneficiaries must meet and those criteria agree with your sensibilities. Send your donations to them.

Notice how each step gets progressively easier while ceding control to others? It's also increasingly difficult to ensure compliance with your wishes and prevent fraud. Kinda like politics, huh?


--------------------

My mother was enthusiastic about household pets and dogs in particular. Even when her income was limited, she made a point of donating to charities with domestic pet themes like "California Humane Authority" and "Petwatch USA" and she felt good about herself and her deeds. What irritated me and my siblings most wasn't just that we discovered the organizations were sending less than 10% of their aggregations to animal shelters, but that she continued to donate to them even after we showed her how fraudulent they were. And when the Shelter Society said, "We got your name from Petwatch USA" she would blithely donate to them, as well, happily ignoring the fact that she was being thoroughly scammed. Damn the Humane Society for allowing fraudsters to exploit my mother's desire to help unfortunate pets!




--G!
*Note that there are no legal regulations on these percentages taken for "Operating Expenses" and such. There are merely guidelines and suggestions from BBB, CharityWatch and similar organizations. UW happens to be well below the average "Operating Percentage" that these watchdog groups consider palatable.
  #66  
Old 07-31-2019, 10:42 PM
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The problem with using the overhead ratio of aggregator groups is that they're only one of the levels of overhead. Whoever the UW gives to also has their own overhead. Of course, overhead isn't necessarily bad either - if the organization wasn't spending things on being an organization, the organization wouldn't exist to be able to funnel the 50-80% of the money they collect to those in need. If it wasn't for the UW putting in the work to ask for money from effectively everyone, the charities they support would not have the funding that they get. If you go ahead after being bugged by the UW to give to the charities that you support the most, then you can feel smug about not giving to them. Or, I suppose, if you need the money just as much as those being helped, which is somewhat unlikely if you're being pressured about it at your place of employment (though I feel for hourly wage slaves, you at least are fit enough to be earning money, unlike some people).

Of course, the best way to give to charity, any charity, is by donating appreciated securities. You don't recognize the gain on the appreciation, but can claim a charitable deduction for the full value. This also lets you bunch deductions easier so that you can actually get a tax benefit for most of them, something that's increasingly rare now the standard deduction is higher.
  #67  
Old 08-01-2019, 07:01 AM
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And I didnt question yours, since I know companies do this- but for any cause, not just the UW. For the Food bank, or Breast cancer or whatever. Sure it doesnt happen for individual losses, since the company isnt competing with others.

Like I said, I was the UW coord for my floor, and the UW rep not only didnt say anything like that, she specifically said it was against their rules.

Of course UW knows it happens, and they are happy to get the $. But they dont like the bad PR.
I've never experienced a manager coming and talking to me for any other charity campaign except UW. I'm not saying of course that it never happens anywhere, but that has not been my experience. My experience is that it has been limited to UW, and only UW. So to me, the common factor, is UW.

Anyway, it is fine. I'm not saying people shouldn't contribute to UW if they want to. They're a legitimate charity and do good work. But I feel they are a little but complicit it in what happens in the workplace during their campaigns. I don't think it can just be waved it off by saying that they tell people not to do it. Because this feels more like a wink wink nudge nudge thing to me.

In any case, I choose to contribute directly to charities of my choice because I believe in their mission.
  #68  
Old 08-01-2019, 09:30 AM
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Back in the 90s I worked at a place that did United Way and we got the "we want 100% participation" speech from the managers, along with some "hey there, we noticed you haven't contributed, you want to contribute right?" and just a touch of "I'm just going to put everybody down for a deduction, is that OK, if that isn't OK, well, come and talk to me about it."

The place I'm at now, for a few years we'd get an email once a year that everybody would ignore, and that was the end of it, and we haven't even gotten one of those emails in a while. Thank goodness.
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  #69  
Old 08-01-2019, 04:57 PM
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I don't always agree with Dr. Deth on these boards, but I think he's been very consistent and quite correct in this thread. It took a while for him to get around to the point, but eventually he crystalized the argument: Don't blame UW for strong-arm tactics perpetrated by your employer.
I agree with you. DrDeth has indeed been consistent, and I absolutely get where he's coming from (although I must say he's overreacting a bit when he uses language like "spreading hate").

That said, I disagree that UW doesn't deserve some blame for the strongarm tactics used by participating employers.

The stories of being, if not "forced," pressured very hard to give, even intimidated a bit, by employers, are so common as to be ubiquitous, and go back so far, that UW cannot be unaware of the tactics used to raise money in their name.

So I believe they share some of the blame.

This isn't something I feel all that strongly about -- after all, I didn't start this thread -- but I do believe it's true.
  #70  
Old 08-01-2019, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Saintly Loser View Post
I agree with you. DrDeth has indeed been consistent, and I absolutely get where he's coming from (although I must say he's overreacting a bit when he uses language like "spreading hate").

That said, I disagree that UW doesn't deserve some blame for the strongarm tactics used by participating employers.

The stories of being, if not "forced," pressured very hard to give, even intimidated a bit, by employers, are so common as to be ubiquitous, and go back so far, that UW cannot be unaware of the tactics used to raise money in their name.

So I believe they share some of the blame....
Oh sure, like i said "....the UW rep not only didnt say anything like that, she specifically said it was against their rules.

Of course UW knows it happens, and they are happy to get the $. But they dont like the bad PR."


What should they do? Refuse to accept the $? They already tell employers not to do it. They dont like the bad PR. They do like the $.
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Old 08-04-2019, 12:37 AM
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YES! That is exactly what everybody is saying! If you know these things are going on and you take the money anyway, that makes you complicit. If you want your hands clean, you don't take the money.
  #72  
Old 08-04-2019, 02:43 AM
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Oh sure, like i said "....the UW rep not only didnt say anything like that, she specifically said it was against their rules.
Did anybody think to ask her what enforcement mechanisms they had in place to uphold those rules, or how to trigger such mechanisms?

Last edited by kaylasdad99; 08-04-2019 at 02:44 AM.
  #73  
Old 08-04-2019, 08:50 AM
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My company has always done UW, but there has always been the option of donating $0. They wanted 100% participation, but that was 100% of the employees to respond to the campaign. Responding with $0 counted towards participation. AFAIK, none of the managers knew who donated what amounts. The company knows that X number of employees donated $Y total amount. I have no knowledge if the individual managers know how much each employee in their dept donated.
Over the past few years, the UW campaign at my work has changed tone several times:

* Donate to United Way, we want 100% participation!
* Donate to United Way, you can direct your donation, we want 100% participation!
* Donate to United Way, you can direct your donation, we want 100% participation but donating $0 counts as participation!
* Donate to whatever you want, but the United Way is a good option.

My main reason for not contributing to the local United Way is that some of their member agencies don't interest me as charitable organizations.
  #74  
Old 08-05-2019, 06:05 PM
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Back in the day, when I worked for a college, the United Way was very important to management. We weren't unionized, but management got into these little pissing contests with each other, and it was a matter of bragging rights to get the most people to sign up. Significant pressure was applied to get employees to contribute.

The more I looked at UW and where their money went, the more disenchanted I became. Nor was I an enthusiastic supporter of the "charities" they fronted. It finally became easy to say "no".

Technically, there was no coercion and you were free to reject the opportunity. But, as a practical matter, they leaned on you and used lots of manipulation to get you to enroll in the payroll deduction. There was almost a religious fervor about it. It was all very weird. And repulsive.
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:32 PM
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...

The more I looked at UW and where their money went, the more disenchanted I became. Nor was I an enthusiastic supporter of the "charities" they fronted. It finally became easy to say "no".
....
Wow, using scare quotes on "charities" as if they aren't all completely vetted and legit- which is pretty much any charity that is a "nonprofit organizations that have a US
501(c)(3) tax-exempt status or international charities that meet 501(c)(3) Equivalency Determination Requirements".

UW funds Planned parenthood, American Cancer Society, Heart Assoc., Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Arthritis Foundation, Easter Seals, Girl Scouts, ....

https://helpingpeople.org/agencies-we-fund/

It would be hard to find a legit charity they dont fund. you can pick the charity you like, you know.
  #76  
Old 08-06-2019, 08:52 AM
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And give to that charity directly saving UW's cut. Why do you have so much invested in this hill?
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:43 PM
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And give to that charity directly saving UW's cut. Why do you have so much invested in this hill?
Because we here, at the SDMB are on a quest to reduce ignorance.

Now, if you say: "I'd rather donate directly to Planned parenthood, and I do." then great, that is a good reason to bypass UW. But UW makes it easier, so that more people donate more. In the end Planned parenthood gets more $.

But if you say you hate the UW as they come around with a iron pipe and threaten to break your kneecaps- then that's being ignorant.

If you say you hate the UW as they "get a tax write off for the money donated by their employees"- then that's being ignorant.

If you say you hate the UW as they " the United Way gave them a "kickback" percentage of the money given" - then that's being ignorant.

If you say you hate the UW as they "keep almost 3/4 of all the money given to them "to cover organizational costs"" then that's being ignorant.

So, I am fighting ignorance. OK?
  #78  
Old 08-06-2019, 03:14 PM
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One part of why participation may be highly encourage may be due to UW's billing practices.

Now, when you donate, that money is taken from your check on payday, you never see it. But that doesn't mean that UW gets a check every payroll. They may only get checks every month, or every three months, or even just a couple times a year.

That is time that the company is holding on to your donation. They are holding it interest free, and they are using it against their own debts.

I have a couple of employees on garnishment, and the fact that I don't have to send in their garnishments until a week after payroll gives me that money for an extra week. It's not much and not long, but it still saves me a bit in interest on loans.

Holding onto hundreds of employee's donations for a month or more can add up to some real money.

That said, I don't know how UW invoices program participants, but I seriously doubt that it gets paid at the same time as payroll, as that is the case for pretty much nobody.
  #79  
Old 08-08-2019, 12:12 PM
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If everyone designated charities, they couldn't do that. ...
True, but that never happens. Enough people just give to the general fund so that it's not an issue. So they can and do do that.
  #80  
Old 08-09-2019, 08:25 AM
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Because we here, at the SDMB are on a quest to reduce ignorance.

Now, if you say: "I'd rather donate directly to Planned parenthood, and I do." then great, that is a good reason to bypass UW. But UW makes it easier, so that more people donate more. In the end Planned parenthood gets more $.

But if you say you hate the UW as they come around with a iron pipe and threaten to break your kneecaps- then that's being ignorant.

If you say you hate the UW as they "get a tax write off for the money donated by their employees"- then that's being ignorant.

If you say you hate the UW as they " the United Way gave them a "kickback" percentage of the money given" - then that's being ignorant.

If you say you hate the UW as they "keep almost 3/4 of all the money given to them "to cover organizational costs"" then that's being ignorant.

So, I am fighting ignorance. OK?
So, we're all stupid ignoramuses who know know nothing at all about UW and you're here to set us straight. Got it. Thing is, when did anyone say any of your last four points? Your straw is showing.
  #81  
Old 08-09-2019, 07:24 PM
DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by DesertDog View Post
So, we're all stupid ignoramuses who know know nothing at all about UW and you're here to set us straight. Got it. Thing is, when did anyone say any of your last four points? Your straw is showing.
Those were quotes from this very thread.
  #82  
Old 08-10-2019, 09:48 PM
Tempe Jeff is offline
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Originally Posted by BeepKillBeep View Post
I definitely experienced something similar. I've worked for three different companies where UW participation was expected, with a friendly bit of strongarming that would stay just this side of legal. "Of course, you understand BeepKillBeep, there would be no work repercussions if you choose not to participate, but and the other managers and I would be very disappointed that we didn't get 100% participation from our employees." I contribute to local charities of my choosing. I really loathe the UW because there's no question there are some shenanigans going on to cause this to be so commonplace.
Where I worked, the UW Donations were given in the name of the Company. I donated to Paws for a Cause, a directed donation. About $500/year through UW. The newsletter from the charity showed money from the Meijer Corporation even though, my donation size would have qualified for mention in the annual report where annual donations of $100 or more were listed.
  #83  
Old 08-10-2019, 10:35 PM
Canuckistan Bob is offline
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I have worked in the charitable sector for over 30 years, for a variety of agencies in several Canadian cities, almost all of which received support from the local United Way. And I volunteered for the United Way over the years too, in a variety of capacities. I like to think I know a little about the topic.

There is no such thing as THE United Way. Each one is local, and they vary considerably in how they are run. It pays to do a little research.

In one Canadian city I worked in, the United Way had a 100% donation pass-through, since the Chamber of Commerce and the Labour Congress split the UW Admin costs 50:50, partly through cash, partly through seconding staff. This same United Way had one of the most grueling accountability processes I have seen-- we weren't just audited by a bunch of accountants and guileless volunteers, no. One thing we had to do was second a senior executive every few years to join the UW audit team for another grantee agency (never one in the same sector). This was critical, as our execs knew all the tricks, all the places to look for buried bodies, all the pointed questions. Another innovation was that the UW was able to pool all the employees of all the agencies they funded, and purchase a benefits package at a greatly reduced rate. Our salaries sucked, but man our benefits & pension plan were freakin fantastic.

I supported them enthusiastically. And most of the charities they supported, had or were very close to 100% employee participation-- we could see the effectiveness on the ground.

In another Canadian city I worked in, it was a rather different picture. The executives at the local UW were VERY well paid. The United Way decided to get into the program delivery business itself, in direct competition with the agencies it funded (it also did a pretty horrible job of it, IMHO). They were quite politicized, always ready to support reforestation in Israel but very reluctant to feed feckless homeless alcoholics. Their annual financial statements were a miracle of obfuscation, but it sure looked to me like they were running overheads of roughly 40%.

I did not support them at all. And very few agencies ran employee campaigns for them.

The UW in the city I currently live in is sort of mid-way. I think they have a bit of mission drift, they put a lot of resources into research and public policy, which isn't entirely a bad thing, but perhaps not so much the intent of donors. They do put a lot of effort into making all the agencies in the sector play nicely with each other, which is a Good Thing, and they do a lot of interagency work on professional development (staff training) and administrative capacity building. But their audits are a little new agey for my personal taste, I like hard numbers of things like bed-nights and dogs spayed, more that mission statements and client outcome testimonials. And I think they are a little too cozy with government and politicians sometimes, and some lines get blurred that really shouldn't be.

I supported them, modestly. They had good, but not fantastic employee participation rates among member agencies.

Like everything else in life, it behooves you to do your research.

And, as others upthread have pointed out, not blame the strong-arm tactics of over-zealous employers running campaigns, on the United Way itself, either the local version, or the movement as a whole. At least without some evidence.
  #84  
Old 08-11-2019, 12:16 AM
DrDeth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuckistan Bob View Post
I have worked in the charitable sector for over 30 years, for a variety of agencies in several Canadian cities, almost all of which received support from the local United Way. And I volunteered for the United Way over the years too, in a variety of capacities. I like to think I know a little about the topic.

There is no such thing as THE United Way. Each one is local, and they vary considerably in how they are run. It pays to do a little research.
...
And, as others upthread have pointed out, not blame the strong-arm tactics of over-zealous employers running campaigns, on the United Way itself, either the local version, or the movement as a whole. At least without some evidence.
Thank you for your well thought out post.
  #85  
Old 08-11-2019, 09:34 AM
DesertDog is offline
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While anecdote is not evidence, I know what I went through in Silicon Valley and was very happy where I worked here in Arizona, the company never allied itself with UW. Instead, they had a long list of charities that you could have a contribution deducted from your paycheck and they would match 50%. If you had a charity not on the list you could submit a request with information -- the website sufficed -- they would investigate, and add it to the list if it passed muster.

I requested and had approved two charities, Burners without Borders and Kids Need to Read. In addition I donated to Heifer International, which was already on the list. The only disadvantage I could find was that while the paychecks were twice a month, the disbursements were once a quarter so the company might have been making a bit on the float. You could direct that the donation be under your name or anonymous, as you saw fit.
  #86  
Old 08-12-2019, 12:56 PM
Saint Cad is offline
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Question for employment lawyers. Is it illegal, in an at-will state, to fire someone for not contributing to the company's UW drive?
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