Thursday, October 05, 2006

United Way Continues to Suck

With the United Way campaign gearing up here in Dried Salmon County, I figured it is time for a friendly reminder that the United Way still sucks. The original post I did on Why United Way Sucks back in August is by far the most searched topic on this blog. Yesterday alone I had hits from Oklahoma, Georgia, Colorado, Montana and three from Oregon from people who Googled or Yahoo’ed the phrase Untied Way Sucks.

I still get comments and emails from that article. My advice, print out the article linked above, and when you are given a United Way packet, attach it as your response. Get the word out. If people hear on a commercial that the United Way is good and does good things they will believe it until they can be shown that they’ve been lied to.

After I penned the paragraphs above, I went out to retrieve my mail. There was a stamped envelope from Salem. The stamp was canceled with a Salem postmark that said United Way. So now the US Postal Service is pimping for them with cancellation marks.

This corporation has powerful tendrils sucking unaccountable billions of dollars out of nearly every private business and government agency in America. Don’t fall for it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've got to disagree with you on this one. You are correct when you refer to people as a "lazy bastard" because they won't write their checks to the charity of their choice. United Way was born out of this. They are able to take on the massive fund raising efforts through efficiency. Ask the different agencies that receive funds from the United Way and I would venture to say that they support it. As far as the 14% administrative overhead goes, it is one of the lowest in charitable organizations.

6:24 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Through efficiency of doing very little and using the resources of tax payer funded offices to do all their leg work and promotions. Remember, it is the donating company or agency who is supplying a preson to organize the fund raiser, the photo copies and the emails. Personally as a tax payer, I want public employees working for the agency, not United Way.

You bet those who receive money from them are happy, and I'm sure they would be happy to accept free money from anywhere.

My question is, whould all the government agencies who support United Way be as charitable if an organization like GLAD tried to have them raise funds for AIDS prevention and cures? What about Green Peace? Do you think that the Wauna Mill would donate their resources to collect money for Green Peace?

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So with that same thinking in mind, should local governments be donating tax dollars to local non profit agencies?

8:12 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

If there is a partnership where the non profit is removing a burden from the government agency, I would rather rather see it treated as a contractor relationship rather than a donor relationship. There is little accountability in a donor relationship. Even grant makers require accountablilty.
Sure, with a donation you can always hope for the best, just like giving change to the homeless, you can hope they will buy food, but a lot of the time is goes alcohol or drugs.

8:31 AM  
Blogger greymatters said...

I agree with your assessment totally, Guy. For many reasons you elude, and for other reasons as well (for one, our local chapter contributes a great deal of $$ to the Boy Scouts, a good and noble cause, however, if one is gay, given the BSUSA's behavior, this is an issue).

Good post.

11:52 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Hey, the one anonymous post went away. It was a good one. I have the comments e-mailed to myself so I got to see it but all of you readers don't. Dang it was good, but I won't copy and paste it here in respect for the writers situation where United Way is holding a gun to his head. Rat Bastards...

GM, I too believe that the Scouts are a noble cause and a great program for the youth in this country. Their issues with gay leaders could easily go away by requiring double adult suprevision. Any group that has anything to do with children should have double adult supervision. It is so sad that they pin pedofelia on the gay population. In reality the pedofile is often the senator or the priest or minister. A trusted community member.

Parents need to be proactive and make sure their children are never left alone with just one adult, no matter how trust worthy they appear. Do your homework. The predators are very real, and it's usually someone you would never suspect.

12:35 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Actually I found the anonymous post back on the first article and here it is:

Anonymous said...

Hey, RIGHT ON!!!!!

My hatred for the united way runs deep.

I used to work for Florida's Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Park Service. One day, in my paycheck, I got this thingy asking how I wanted to donate to the United Way. There was no "no" box, so I simply traced my middle finger over the form and sent it back. I thought that would suffice. Two weeks later, I found out that the head of the United Way of Florida had been appointed by Jeb Bush as head of the Florida Park Service and now they were fleecing us for contributions to the United Way.

Fast forward a few years. Today I run a local, (nameless for the time being), non-for-profit organization in a town in Florida. I hate being anonymous, but you'll find out why shortly. I am trying to raise money to put together several programs for low income communities in this city. Things like credit counseling, financial literacy, stuff like that. My board wants it done. We need money to hire people to do it, we could do it now but it would be too small to be effective. TRY GETTING SEED MONEY FROM THE UNITED WAY SOMETIME!!!!!!!!! TRY IT!!!! I issue everyone who reads this a challenge. Organize your community, come up with a project, and try to get funding for it from the United Way! I DARE YOU! If you ain't in the United Way's incrowd, they aint giving you a dime. But guess what? They are so hooked up that to get any have to go through least you do in this area if you want GOVERNMENT MONEY to help you out.

So, I gotta deal with em....hence the anonymous...but thanx for letting me vent. I needed that!

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have a lot of ready cash at the end of the bill/food/rent cycle, so when I can contribute I do it materially. And by this I mean that I send food to the Sunshine Division or participate in canned food drives. I also refuse to give clothing or household goods to Goodwill (HEY! You should do a post on why Goodwill sucks; if you don't already know it will open your eyes); I donate to ARC instead.
I seriously distrust any HUGE charity organization. And Red Cross isn't all that happy either.

1:07 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Just what I need, more research projects and companies to hate ; ) I thrive on it. Monsanto is the next target in my scope, but hey, thanks for the pointer. I'll take up the challenge. You're OK Mel! You're going to fit in well here.
Hey check your PM, I sent you some questions, that is if you have time.

2:43 PM  
Blogger greymatters said...

Guy, that is perhaps part of it? But double-secret double-supervision doesn't cut it? Rather than deal with any of the attendant issues, the BSUSA did much like the Catholic church did (with some variation, true). It's so easy to deal with the superficial, much like it's easy to give at the office.

And so the UW and the Church will go on.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I give to ALL local causes. The UW doesn't receive any of my money. I do not GIVE to any candidates running for any office!
My favorite charity is the "Astoria Rescue Mission" The group has been around for a long time and they really strive to help those in need.

3:55 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Need is the big word. It is best to know the difference between wants and needs. I support some programs that need and some that have wants. I just have to be able to wrap my arms around the cause. But I am happy to find so many people giving out there. Happier they are bypassing United Way.

GM, I hear you. We can only hope we see change in our life time.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

The Boy Scouts wouldn't have a problem if they, and others, would stop confusing "homosexual" with "pedophile."

4:44 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Exactly, Rich! Pedophiles are in their own category and they can be hetro or homosexual.

Oops, I realized I misspelled pedophile earlier.

I promise a lighter topic tomorrow, and for those who are keeping score, I disabled the word verification. Sometimes it took me four tries to get it right. Anyway, I will keep it off until I get spammed again by the spam bots.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

Here are THE two categorys:
1) Normal
2) Deviant
You can write all of the funny little titles on small pieces of paper, lay them on the table and sort them by the above category.
Heres' some more for you:
Skirt chaser.
Home wrecker.
And those afore mentioned.
I know exactly which of the two categories I fall into.
What about you?

6:56 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

You are just daring me to start sending you snail mail with United Way as the return address. ;)

8:27 PM  
Blogger greymatters said...

This is fun. I like "tramp" and "skirt chaser". WHOOO-HOOOO!

Oh, I'm still not giving to the UW. I know the UW is crushed.

6:09 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

You would be wasting natural resources, Syd because I would automatically go into the burn pile, unopened, like all the mail I've been getting from Saxton (Oregon Governor candidate). I'm registered independent so I get all political mail.

I'm liking you, GM ; )

Gearhead, I will just say "Consenting Adults" All else is deviant.

Moving on....

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son is in the cub scouts and all adults that work with scouts have to get training (it's free and online). They want proof you got the training. Training pretty much says you need 2 adults at ALL times.

I've been working with autism nonprofits for a few years now. I got one signed up with the United Way donor program. You get to submit your request and list things you need paid for. For instance, I signed up to get funding for a hotline, parent guide, and parent workshops. They only approved the hotline. We then got a number assigned. We could then advertise that number in our own newsletter but we couldn't advertise it widely.

If you want to be a real UW agency, you have to pretty much dedicate an full time person to doing their "presentation rounds." They have you present your nonprofit, what they do, etc at these gatherings regularly. You have lots of extra hoops to jump through and they don't necessarily let you fund the things your organization really needs. Our parent books were not funded but there were no other autism guides complete with providers and assistance programs/resources available at the time. How they pick and choose what gets funded is beyond me. I consider UW a "necessary evil" but think there must be better ways of doing this other than their exclusive club method.

I also consider nonprofits like miracle network and such to garner much support from large corporations (banks, costco, etc) all at the expense of funding other needed nonprofits that are completely overlooked and underfunded.

9:24 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

So please everyone, donate directly to the causes that matter to you.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of Saxon, I took a road trip to Eugene. Saxon has sign's everywhere, he has a lot of supporters! Why not use money for the homeless? Seems like such a waste! Seeing his name wouldn't change my mind, I would hope it wouldn't encourage anyone.
I donate directly to local causes. I would never allow a charity to be taken out of my wages!!!
Your description of cooking in the kitchen sounds just like my husband and myself, except he is sometimes grouchy

12:14 PM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

>>Gearhead, I will just say "Consenting Adults" All else is deviant.
The age of consent in Washington DC is 16 and yet the latest scandle involving "Consenting Adults" has prompted resignations, a Congressional Inquiry, and a tip in the balance in the senate & house.
It's all legal; right?
Why all of the alarm, ESPECIALLY FROM THE DEMS?

9:41 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Concenting was the other word.

6:10 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Also, I'm not seeing the Democrats doing anything. It's the Republicans I see who are eating their own, including all the conservative media and news hosts.

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Allow me to fill you in on a little "Back Room" information regarding, Goodwill Industries of Cleveland.

Think Goodwill is bout "Goodwill?" Don't kid yourself - it's a business.

Sure - services are being provided to individuals with disabilities and such - yup, they sure are - and in many cases, your tax dollars are back-filling the profit margin of the Goodwill as well.

Guess what? The majority of the employees are earning minimum wage - so lets us consider this:

The majority of the employees earn minimum wage.
The clothing is near the price of a dollar store in many cases.
Your tax dollars are helping to pay for "training individuals with hardship" of some type.
They are also receiving major funding from the United Way - yes, that United Way.

But you feel really good about donating - you get that tax receipt that has probably little to no value when the tax man calls.

And the CEO went from being a NASA - yes, that NASA - to running the Goodwill stores of Cleveland - from Canton, Ohio.

I understand that the CEO of the Goodwill in Portland, pulled in 750,000 in 2005 - no, not kidding.

Not a business you say? Hmm, seems to me that the Feds pay their executives really, really well - Goodwill? Good luck - it's a business!

5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ended up here because I typed 'United Way sucks' into google.
I left Corporate America over 10 years ago. I didn't look back when I left, but because of finances, which is a long drawn out tale, it's possible that I may end up returning soon. (not at the same company)
One of the things that I abhored about the Real Estate Investment Trust Company that I left was the annual ritual of cohertion/extortion practices of the United Way drive. Just thinking about it makes me angry. All of the employees were herded into a conference room where the choosen spokesperson extols the virtues of UW, you are then handed a form to fill out, whether you want to donate or not and they're adamant about you signing that form. I refused to donate and signed it as required...then about 2 weeks later noticed in my paycheck they had taken a donation ANYWAY. I went to HR and told them that I didn't want to participate and AGAIN I got the 'sales pitch'. I had to literally argue to get them to stop removing the money from my paycheck. The company was adamant about having 100% participation.
It is my understanding that other companies operate the same way.
The United Way is rife with scandal, fraud and mismanagement of funds, starting with it's founder William Aramony who was convicted and sentenced to prison for fraud and financial mismanagement.

12:53 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

It makes one lose confidence in the decision makers that lead businesses.

5:27 AM  

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