Monday, October 18, 2010

United Way Continues to Suck

Everyone expects my annual United Way rant and I was going to let it slide this year until Moose, our friend in the Great White North sent me the article below. I have no idea where this article came from. It could even be an internet hoax, however my research is comparable. Remember these groups also pay their local managers high salaries as stated in a previous post on the United Way.

By the way, the local organizers get brainwashed and have attempted to tell me that 100% of the funds collected locally are spent locally with no funds going to the national United Way organization. Bull shit!

The Article:
Keep these facts in mind when "donating". As you open your pockets
For yet another natural disaster, keep the following facts in mind; we
have listed them from the highest (worse paid offender) to the lowest
(least paid offender).

The worst offender was yet again for the 11th year in a row is, UNICEF - CEO, receives $1,200,000 per year, (plus use of a Royal Royce for his exclusive use where ever he goes, and an expense account that is rumoured to be well over $150,000.) Only pennies from the actual donations goes to the UNICEF cause (less than $0.14 per dollar of income).

The second worst offender this year is Marsha J. Evans, President and CEO of the American Red Cross...for her salary for the year ending in 2009 was $651,957 plus expenses. Enjoys 6 weeks - fully paid holidays including all related expenses during the holiday trip for her and her husband and kids. including 100% fully paid health & dental plan for her and her family, for life. This means out of every dollar they bring in, about $0.39 goes to related charity causes.

The third worst offender was again for the 7th time was, Brian Gallagher, President of the United Way receives a $375,000 base salary (U.S. funds), plus so many numerous expense benefits it's hard to keep track as to what it is all worth, including a fully paid lifetime membership for 2 golf courses (1 in Canada, and 1 in the U.S.A.), 2 luxury vehicles, a yacht club membership,3 major company gold credit cards for his personal expenses...and so on. This equates to about $0.51 per dollar of income goes to charity causes.

Fourth worst offender who was also again in the fourth spot, for every year since this information has been made available from the start 1998 is amazingly yet again, World Vision President (Canada) receives $300,000 base salary, (plus supplied - a home valued in the $700,000 - $800,000 dollar value range, completely furnished,
completely paid all housing expenses, including taxes, water/sewer, telephone/fax, HD/high speed cable, weekly maid service and pool/yard maintenance, fully paid private schooling for his children, upscale automobile and an $55,000 personal
expense account for clothing/food, with a $125,000 business expense account). Get this, because it is a "religious based" charity, it pays, little to no taxes, can receive government assistance and does not have to declare were the money goes. Only about $0.52 of earned income per dollar is available for charity causes.

Of the sixty some odd "charities" we looked at, the lowest paid (President/C.E.O/Commissioner) was heading up a charity group right here in Canada. We found, believe it or not, it was......Ready for this...I think you might be surprised...It is, none other than...

The Salvation Army's Commissioner Todd Bassett receives a salary of only $13,000 per year (plus housing) for managing this $2 Billion dollar organization. Which means about $0.93 per dollar earned, is readily available and goes back out to local charity causes...truly amazing...and well done "Sally Anne"

No further comment is necessary..."Think Twice" before you give to your charity of choice as to which one really does the best for the most - or the least for the most, for that matter.


Blogger darev2005 said...

Once every year the state duns us like crazy to make some sort of charitable contribution. It's all part of some state wide competition between departments I think to see who can get the most money out of their employees. This year once again I donated a dollar every two weeks to help fund AIDS research. I hope at least some tiny part of that actually goes somewhere useful and not into the gas tank of some CEO's yacht.

4:33 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

I use Charity Navigator to check out charities, and I keep it listed on my sidebar.

4:36 AM  
Blogger mark said...

I use charity navigator, too. Sometimes, however, you just have to rely on your gut, and my gut usually says stick with local groups. It's not foolproof, but it's usually easy to discover if the head of a local non-profit drives around in an Escalade or wears Italian designer loafers.

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where I work there is the once-a -year fundraiser. Used to be the only option was United Way, but they have since allowed payroll deductions for just about any charity you choose... so now I participate. They still don't match contributions for all charities, but offer matching funds for several other than the United Way. Progress.

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Donate to the local food bank, womens resource center, anything local.
Thanks for the info your writings

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And then today, we get the ubiquitous email at work to start thinking about your United Way contribution....Great Timing, Guy!

7:51 PM  
Blogger qandlequeen said...

Those numbers are mind-numbing. I work for a non-profit and we bust our ass trying to raise enough money to cover our expenses so we can help families in need. Nobody begrudges CEO's and other employees taking a decent salary, but 1/2 million? Yachts? Golf memberships?

When you rev up your next United Way rant, come check out the one servicing St. Louis Missouri. From Sept 1 - Oct 31 are fundraising blackout dates for all agencies under the UW umbrella. Those agencies are to offer their fundraising efforts to help the United Way... because United Way doesn't have a large department filled with professionals geared towards generating big bucks for the agency??? Imagine being a struggling charity who relies on the funds they receive from United Way and be completely unable to supplement those funds for a full two months.

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

I can't believe that so many people fall for the United Way and businesses do all the work for them with internal on the clock employees doing all the work and the business doing all the printing.

Donna, thanks for the link for charity navigator. I found one of my favorite (in concept) Heifer International poorly rated.

One good thing about having a post on this subject every year it shows up in most internet searches for the United Way. My old posts still get comments. Hopefully the word will continue spreading on this organization.

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Joni said...

As far as donating goes, I bypass UW and donate straight to the local charity of preference. I think the black-out period imposed by UW on the organizations they have under their umbrella is horrible!

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Corina said...

I work at World Vision Canada and it is great that this posting is being used to address charity accountability and transparency. However, the facts related to the president of World Vision Canada are incorrect. All of the assertions made about him are completely false.

Our president earns a salary of $184,000, plus a moderate vehicle allowance - which is substantially less than executives who run comparable organizations.

Our president does not live in a $700,000-$800,000 home and none of his housing costs are paid for by World Vision Canada.

If you would like to learn about how World Vision determines this and other salaries, I encourage you to read our policy by visiting the following link:

You can also access our annual reports and audited financial statements here:

10:59 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...


Thank you for the correction, however his salary is still excessive.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Etherknight said...


I wouldn't be too quick to cite those audits as "proof" of anything. The auditing comapany, KMPG, donates hundreds of thousands of dollars (as free services) to World Vision regularly. Several KMPG employees have gone to work as high-ranking World Vision employees, and vice versa. This "3rd-party" auditing company is in bed with World Vision and has a vested interest in making the audit statements say whatever WV wants them to say.

In the last few years, KMPG has been involved in tax shelter fraud, providing false financial statements, and other so-called "unlawful conduct". They have financially rewarded employees to list KMPG as "one of the best companies to work for" on various surveys; making that claim dubious.

Not to mention that they lost over 2 *billion* dollars of investors money in the Madoff Ponzi scheme in 2008. This company is, at best, woefully incompetent. And, at worst, in the pocket of their clients and completely corrupt.

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect charities have always been a rip off. Remember Easter Seals? Polio was brought under control and Easter Seals became another major charity with a different name.

You could consider some of the other rip offs such as those of the local and state government. One that especially irritates me is the OVMEB (Oregon Veterinary Medical Exam Board). It is defunct in every aspect of animal protection, but the best is that the Executive Director makes more than $62K with one full time and one part time employ to supervise. and a budget of approximately $750K. The Executive Director annual salary for the Oregon Humane Society is less than $125K for the supervision of 1000 personnel and a budget of nearly $10 million dollars. The state job looks overpaid and also consider they only work four days a week.

The tragic aspect of the OVMEB is that it is funded by veterinarians and while they protect their own from censure animals are abused and tortured by veterinarian incompetence and nothing is done to protect the animals. Talk abut a conflict of interest.

I wonder why we don't unite and start protesting the continual rip offs.

2:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Local United Ways are just a franchisees for the United Way of America.

7:58 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Exactly, just like Catholic churches are franchisees of the Vatican.

7:16 PM  

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