The United Way and their tactics.


Ain’t too shabby these days, either.

Depends on where you live. That is just slightly above the cutoff for being eligible for affordable housing in Santa Clara County.

Well, the subjects of the post I was responding to was talking about people living in Minneapolis-St. Paul. I’m not going to bother looking it up, but I’ll bet the money goes a lot further there than it does in the San Francisco Bay/Silicon Valley area.

You really have to be careful with “charitable organizations”, and United Way is the worst of the worst as far as I’m concerned.

A friend’s school district employed the same pressure tactics the OP was complaining about. 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”. It’s a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” as far as I’m concerned.

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.

“Do you really think I have extra money to contribute with the shit wages you pay here?”


Sure, but that wasnt UW.

That would be illegal and easily discovered.

“Nearly 20 percent of monies donated to the United Way goes to pay for administrative costs, according to statistics provided by local United Ways that just kicked off their campaigns.
However, only about 5 percent of the overall total goes toward paying salaries and other costs, the United Way spokespersons say. And heads of local agencies affiliated with the United Way say their work would be impossible without United Way funds.”

Per their Annual Report for 2014, United Way Worldwide claimed combined administrative, non-operating and fundraising expenses of 16 percent, meaning that they spend approximately 16 cents for every dollar donated on organizational costs, and the other 84 cents go directly towards community projects. This is well below Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance Standards for Charity Accountability that allow up to 35 percent in overhead costs. …

I have to say that I share the loathing for UW because of the way they infiltrate organizations and make it nearly de facto mandatory to contribute, which always caused me to refuse on principle, even though I have no problem in general with charitable giving. Besides strong-arming employees, around here UW and a number of other organizations including MADD have also infiltrated the government-owned liquor stores, so that during checkout you can present yourself as either a good citizen willing to contribute to the needy or as an uncaring drunk merely interested in the self-centered acquisition of alcohol. My approach is to profusely thank them for the opportunity but politely decline. I note that if you manage to resist the pressure, the cashiers have apparently been trained to react with exaggerated cheerfulness so as to dial down the obvious intimation that judgment is being passed about which class you belong to.

“I gave at the office.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

  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.

You wrote, responding to and quoting ***my ***post:

(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.

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.