Company Forcing Employees To Donate Their Hard Earned Money

I am so ticked off! About a month ago the central office sent me an email asking me to send out an email to our Office staff (which consists of 15 people) to see if they want to donate money to United Way. If they donate money, the company will match the dollar amount.

The Office Mgr in the central office called me a week or so later and asked for the head count of participatnts. I told her no one was interested.

I told her that I sent the email and no one wanted to participate. Several of the people in our office have their own charities and churchs that they donate their money and time to, so I understood - no questions asked.

However I received a cc: email from the head honcho in corporate to his Office Manager that says to contact me and set up the account for our employees to donate. He said he (quote) “does not want to send the wrong message to United Way for lack of participation.”

I then received an email from his Office Manager that says she contacted our area United Way Program and for me to expect to set up a donation account.

Well I sent her an email that said I meant no offense, but if I sent out an email asking people if they wanted to donate money and received only one response, (which was negative) why does it seem that the head honcho is “pushing” that we employees contribute? I am not going to accept any HR pressure to donate my money. I am a single parent of 5 children and shouldn’t have to explain myself to anyone.
I am offended by what feels like pressure to contribute.

BTW the guy that sent me a negative response said he won’t donate a dime. It is not a “Christian” charity and there has been much scandel of the head guy from United Way stealing money and traveling to Europe.

Her response back to me was there was no pressure to donate but the account should be set up for those who want to.
Hello??? How many ways do you have to be told NO ONE WANTS TO CONTRIBUTE TO UNITED WAY!!!

I feel that the comment the head honcho gave was an absolute remark to pressure people into contributing. (does not want to send the wrong message to United Way for lack of participation.)

I am so ticked off.

To top it off they just changed the dress code so I had to go clothes shopping this weekend and spend a small fortune. For someone like myself on a tight budget every penny counts. And they want me to donate my money?


We have one of those damned contribution drives coming up this week at the hospital I work at. I work nights, so I usualy miss the BS. Our hospital is being sold to a Catholic health provider at the end of the year. Do Catholic-run orginzations participate in United Way? I hope not.

Wait, so are they docking your paycheck and sending money to the United Way, or not?

It doesn’t sound like they are forcing anyone to donate money. They are setting up the account just in case someone changes their mind. I don’t really see the problem.

They have their own call Catholic Charities. I’m very enamored with them and woud contribute money in a hearbeat.

LET ME CLARIFY MY POINT ABOUT BEING “FORCED” I feel that the comments the head honcho is making and implying is going to “force” the employees into feeling that have to contribute. I feel that it is simply “implied” to United Way that there will be a great participation.

I think it is a waste of time to set up the account because NO ONE WANTS TO PARTICIPATE. I wonder what kind of pressure tactics United Way will persue once this account is open in order to get donations?

They will take your donation out of your paycheck and that will make the big guys in corporate look good.

So, how much can I put you down for?

NOTHING! I donate 10% of my gross income to my church as a tithe. Once a month I serve food in the soup kitchen. Once a year I work with Habitat for Humanity with my singles group at church. I am on a tight budget and have no money to spare. I feel that the time I spend serving others is just as important. Besides after the controversy I heard for United Way why bother?

Once upon a time, I worked for a very large corporation in which the managers of certain groups did very much “rate” employees according to whether or not they were part of the official giving program.

I’m sure it’s not legal - because the managers were careful not to leave a paper or email trail - but it surely was the case. Typically, dollars were exchanged for higher scores on moral and leadership.

I feel your pain, Isabelle. Because you seem to work for a small group, it’s possible that this boss who keeps sending the email is hoping that contributions to the United Way will help the boss’s rep in the local business community. Give! Give now, so that your boss can get a better job in the future.

Right…Isabelle…would you set up that account, then? Thaaaank you…mmmm…yeah…

I wrote to my best friend who is a seasoned manager. I expressed my anger. He advised that I “not make waves” He said to just set up the account and if there is a -0- contribution then what can they do? He said that HR usually keeps records of who is giving and what and that info is given to the head honcho. These contributions are to make the “head honcho” look good in his community and get one of those shiny plaques that say “I Contributed”

I knew before opening the thread it would be about that gang of organized extortionists, the United Way, and their evil henchmen, the HR department of practically every fucking company in America.

I tried to get taken off the distribution list for UW emails last time around, only to be told I was a “bad citizen.” So I set up Outlook to delete everything emailed from the United Way campaign address.

Then they started sending them out from other email addresses, including the president of the company. Fine, set up Outlook to delete everything with “United Way” in the subject header.

Then they started sending them out without United Way in the header, disguised as email about other topics. So now I have Outlook set to delete anything that has “United Way” in the body as well, unless it comes from someone on my immediate team of co-workers.

Just got another email reminder about avoiding spam. You’re fucking spamming your own employees, assholes!

How hard would it be, as part of the orientation process, to ask people if they want to participate in United Way and email just those people? Leave the non-suckers among us the hell alone!

United Way is the rats ass of charity in my opinion. To satisfy HR put a coffee can on your desk with a money slot and a sign noting it is for United Way donations.

My company had annual United Way meetings, with mandatory attendance. They’d bring in a United Way person, as well as someone helped by their work, and the two of them would talk at us for more than 1/2 an hour. We’d all have our little donation sheets, and we’d be ‘encouraged’ to fill them out afterwards. Do you know how hard it is to walk out the door past someone you know would be helped with your donation, when you haven’t filled that thing out?! The only way I survived those meetings was saying to myself that at least it was better than working.

At least you’re only getting e-mail.

And look at it this way, you set the account up (I’m assuming you mean in your accounting system?), no one donates, no one has deductions coming off their pay, you get to turn to your boss at the end of the year and say “Hey, we have that account we never used, that was a great waste of my time!” :slight_smile:

The company gave a 1% raise this year and said it was the best they could do. So then they ask for money…pressure you into giving…then they take my money and get a CORPORATE TAX WRITE OFF! In the end the company is the winner!

And BTW who pays for those shiny plaques that United Way givew away to the corporations that donate? I am sure it is with DONATION DOLLARS!!!

United Way may be one of the worst offenders, but Jewish United Fund (the Jewish equivalent of United Way) used to do the same thing to their employees, and their fundraising drive was right after the United Way drive. My first job after college was for a Jewish Federation agency that also got funding from United Way, so we got screwed both ways.

I was making not a whole hell of a lot above minimum wage on that job, and was single and fresh out of school and living in a disgusting roach-infested studio apartment in a borderline neighborhood, trying to pay off student loans, so I was pretty strapped for cash, too. So our asshole HR director started strong-arming everyone to donate, and I just never returned the pledge card. So she then personally wrote me a letter telling me the date by which I had the opportunity to “join my colleagues in the team spirit” and donate; I wrote her back a letter saying that the Jewish concept of charity (tsedakah) was such that ideally it should be anonymous, and that I would reach my own decisions about how I wanted to contribute to the less fortunate, thank you very much. (Jewish Federation agencies were famous for being staffed by rich women with multimillionaire husbands who didn’t really need to work; I think she forgot that not all of us fell into that category. Hell, I was probably eligible for some of our agency’s means-tested programs!)

My buddy, who was our union steward, told me I should just tape a nickel to the pledge card and send it back to her, because part of their funding was evaluated on the basis of the proportion of staff that donated (but not the amount). But by that point I was pissed off; I could have been making double what I was making as an entry-level secretary for a for-profit firm, so basically I was already donating 50% of my salary and putting up with her bullshit in addition (plus doing informal volunteering on the side). It was a matter of principle, and I was not going to let her strong-arm me; I was already responsible for helping over 200 non-English-speaking new immigrants find jobs during a recession, with almost no resources or internal support (there were 2 computers and 1 fax machine for an office of nearly 30 people, none of which I was allowed to touch myself, and this was in 1990), which was quite enough in the way of good deeds as far as I was concerned.

I think people should be able to choose how they want to contribute to society, and to hell with anyone else who thinks otherwise.

Yeah, I’m going to need you to move your office to the basement…yeah…oh, there’s my stapler.

My company also will soon be doing this.

Before I graced these halls, the United Way effort for the entire company was run by the person in my current position. Not a big deal, one would think as the United Way is supposed to be a volunteer project, yes? No. Other admin. assistants keep hinting that her replacement should be organizing this year’s effort. So far I have handled this by pretending I don’t understand what they’re hinting at. Replacement, huh? Me?

If I fail in my quest to avoid this, not only will I be pressured to give, but I will have to coerce others. Change buckets will I have to distribute. Tacky posters will I have to hang up, and many a "fun"draising event will I have to “organize”. This usually involves me running to grocery stores at 4 in the morning because dep. 3 forgot to provide provisions and again “your predecessor used to help us with this Lady, would you mind?” I hate buying cheap hot dogs and bulk chips when I should be snuggling under warm covers while dreaming about snuggling under warm covers.

But, hey, maybe they’ll forget. :smiley:

No, the company does not take your money. It gets a write off, but only on the money they contribute. YOU get a write off on what you contribute. Both of you win.

Uhh…yeah. So? They cost what, $8 a piece? For several thousands in donations? I think that’s a suitable and appropriate recognition gift. When people send me presents, I like to send them a thank-you card. If someone does a very large favor for me, I like to buy them dinner. When non-profits do not recognize the generosity of donors, they tend to not get donations from them again. What helps the United Way more: (a) company donates $5,000 first year, receives no recognition, doesn’t donate again; or (b) company donates $5,000 first year, receives $8 plaque, donates $5,500 the next year.

The entire reason that your company is making such a big deal about this is because the United Way numbers are a very important thing for them. It is a very easy indication of the organization’s community involvement, and these numbers are readily available from UW for use in Chamber of Commerce reports and the like. When comparing Company A and Company B, sometimes the only distinguishing characteristic between them is their UW compliance. Guess which company is more attractive to bring business to?

Now, I’m not about to say that the United Way is a truly wonderful organization, nor that what your company is doing is unique in any way. In fact, you’re getting off easy, because several posters on this board have expressed similar rants where the threat of non-promotion or rehire is accompanied with the annual UW push.

The place where I work does this every year. I get the emails, the letters, etc. I’ve never donated a !@#$% penny. I’m sure upper management knows. But I couldn’t care less.

The United Way can Kiss My Ass[sup]TM[/sup]. Why the hell do I need a fat, manipulative, bureaucratic organization to “distribute” my charitable donations while stealing a healthy chunk of it for themselves? What do I need it for?? I’m a big boy, and I can (and do) make contributions directly to charities I feel are worthy of my hard earned money. Not to mention that some United Way offices distribute money to Planned Murderhood.

Grrrrrr. Don’t get me started on the United Way. [sub]Oops. Too late.[/sub]