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  1. #1

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    Default United Way/Good or Bad/pros or cons

    I believe in charitable giving, but do you think the United Way is too much of a bureaucacy ?

  2. #2
    Super Member Inspector507's Avatar
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    Default Re: United Way/Good or Bad/pros or cons

    Around here the Director or whatever he is makes $150,000 a year. I'm not giving to support him, sorry.
    Just my $.02 worth

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: United Way/Good or Bad/pros or cons

    My sentiments exactly. Way too many hands in the till to suit me. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img]

  4. #4
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
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    Default Re: United Way/Good or Bad/pros or cons

    Look up your local United Way and find out what their overhead is. It seems that the local ones vary from area to area, so it is unfair to make a blanket statement about all of them.

    Personally, I thought our local one had too much overhead several years back and we didn't care for a few of the organizations that recieved funding from them, so we stopped giving to them and started giving directly to the charities that mattered the most to us... March of Dimes, St. Vincet DePaul, Girl Scouts, Little League, our Church... you get the idea [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]. More bang for our buck, so to speak.

    I now know several people on the local committee and they have straightened things around quite a bit. Less overhead and more to organizations. They also dropped the organizations that we didn't care for. They really are trying to do good things, so my hat's off to them, but I can still make our dollars go farther by contributing directly to the organizations.

    Also, most charities can use volunteers if you don't want to contribute money. They really appreciate volunteered time.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: United Way/Good or Bad/pros or cons

    I used to be concerned about the overhead of the United Way, about 15% from what I remember, and would say that I would just give directly to the charities. Over the years I realized I was giving less than I desired, so now my wife & I both give to the United Way directly out of our paychecks, and we still give to the local charities that we support. It's an easy way to help out, and since it is every check, we don't really don't miss the funds. It kind of makes us sound lazy, but that's okay...we are. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]

    Volunteerism
    One Saturday, we had a knock on our door. On our porch was quite a large fellow (350+lbs) gasping for air. He said he was with the fire department and wanted to show us his identification. I ignored his card and looked over his shoulder, and asked him if he just walked up our driveway. While struggling for some air he said yes, and I immediately asked him how much money did he want. I would have given him anything he asked, since he climbed 60 ft vertical over a 350ft distance and add another 40ft vertical for walking up our road. There was a volunteer that showed he was willing to go the extra mile so to speak. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  6. #6
    Super Star Member
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    Default Re: United Way/Good or Bad/pros or cons

    <font color="blue"> but do you think the United Way is too much of a bureaucacy?</font>
    In my opinion, the two major items with a charity are;

    1. Do you approve/agree with the service they are providing.
    2. How much of every dollar you give, gets to the recipient.

    The amount a charity employee makes isn't as important to me as Item 2. If the charity's 'pass thru' drops below 80 - 85%, I begin to look elsewhere. I used to think 85 - 90%, but many charities are involved in labor intensive activities, e.g., counseling, which can drive the administrative overhead up. Additionally, many charities are responsible for dealing with a lot of money, i.e., six to seven figure (or more) annual budget, which requires someone with the right skills to lead. In many localities, you are not going to find the right people to do this for a $50,000 - $100,000 salary.

    And as Mossroad mentioned, local UWs can vary both in administrative overhead as well as which local charities they direct your donations to. They may be directing money to local charities that you wouldn't give to directly. It pays to investigate.

  7. #7
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: United Way/Good or Bad/pros or cons

    Old_Hickory, I don't know how old you are, but a lot of older folks will have nothing to do with the United Way because of things that happened 30-40 years ago. For at least the first 9 years I worked for the City, city employees were not asked to donate to the United Way, they were simply told how much they were donating (payroll deductions). Of course you could refuse if you wanted your next performance rating to be unsatisfactory and be transferred to the least desireable job in your department (on your way to unemployment). A number of people told me it was the same with a lot of private businesses as well. That changed in 1973 (for city employees at least) after some news media reports, but like I said, many folks still would rather donate to individual organizations and avoid the United Way.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: United Way/Good or Bad/pros or cons

    I am 45 Bird,the place I work for tries to force feed this stuff to you and it is a bit annoying at times.

  9. #9

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    2003 Kubota BX-22

    Default Re: United Way/Good or Bad/pros or cons

    Bird..... they are the United Way, but their strong arm tactics of getting funds is not the American Way in my mind. I know that they still have that hold over municipal employees in many areas.

  10. #10
    Silver Member
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    Default Re: United Way/Good or Bad/pros or cons

    Hickory,

    I agree with most of the others. We used to get a lot of pressure to be "100%" on participation from work (a 100 year old utility), but many of us younger (&lt; 50 [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] ) guys sort of bucked the system and made our voices heard. I personally didn't like the pressure as we donate much higher than the national standard (according to my tax program) anyway and didn't want to :
    1. Support organizations we didn't agree with
    2. Support an administrative function that was unneeded (in my opinion)

    So we continue to donate our time, talents and resources to organizations that we agree with philosophically directly without the overhead of the UW.

    My $.02 anyway.
    -Frank

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