I heard that…
…the United Way spends way too much on salaries and other administrative costs.
The United Way of Sumner County maximizes resources so that more of your contribution goes toward helping people. In fact, only 15.8% of every dollar raised goes towards administration and fundraising costs. This is less than half of the national average of 34 cents, and even better than the 40 cents allowed by the Better Business Bureau. The United Way runs a tight organization, and we scrimp and save every opportunity we have so that our community partners can receive more.
… United Ways fund abortions and I could NEVER give money to an organization that goes against my religious or moral beliefs.
The United Way of Sumner County DOES NOT fund abortions or Planned Parenthood, instead we fund Cumberland Crisis Pregnancy Center – a faith-based agency that provides counseling services, support groups and parenting classes for individuals and families who find themselves in a crisis pregnancy.
…my sister called the United Way for help with her utility bill, and they wouldn't help her.
The United Way does not offer direct assistance to the residents in our community. Instead, we allocate our funds – your donations – to those organizations that are the best equipped to meet the needs of our residents and they distribute the funds. Even though you might be getting the help from one of our 36 funded agency partners know that United Way of Sumner County dollars make their work possible.
… Bill Aramony - the President of United Way America (UWA) - stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from UWA in the 1990's. There is no way I'm giving to an organization that allows that to happen.
In 1992, Bill Aramony was President of United Way of America, a national trade association for 1,400 (at the time) local United Ways across America . He was fired and later convicted, along with two other men, of misusing funds for their personal benefit. Aramony was sent to prison for the maximum sentence of 7 years and was levied a forfeiture of 1.2 million dollars, requiring him to pay back double the amount he had embezzled. Although Aramony appealed his sentence three times, he was denied three times and forced to serve out his entire prison sentence along with the other two men.
Many people still mistakenly believe that local United Ways are Chapters of United Way of America (now United Way Worldwide – UWW). That is not true nor has it ever been true. Donations made in our county, stay in our county - unless you request otherwise!
Unfortunately, local United Ways continue to suffer because of Aramony’s illegal activity with UWA. However, positive things did come out of that negative experience, for example, the transparent operation of local United Ways and local United Wayrepresentation on the UWW Board of Trustees.
I heard that…
…a colleague/friend/family member doesn't like the United Way because his boss made employees donate to the campaign.
The United Way has never – and will never – condone this sort of fundraising on our behalf. Once employees are asked to donate, leave it at that. We never want employees to feel intimidated or threatened to participate in our campaign. Of course, gentle reminders to turn in their campaign paperwork (even if the amount is $0) are ok. Always remember that donations are a personal matter and people must take many things into consideration before making the choice to donate.
… the money raised by the United Way of Sumner County is sent to United Way Worldwide, and they take their cut and then decide how to distribute the money locally.
Not true. Every United Wayis an independent, autonomous organization, with its own Board of Directors and Allocations Committees. United Way Worldwide does not exercise any control over how we allocate our funds to the community. We do pay membership dues to United Way Worldwide (1% of the amount we raise each year) and those funds pay for materials, supplies, technical advice, and training opportunities for the staff.
…you support___________ organization. There is no way I want my money to go to that place.
The United Way of Sumner County funds 36 organizations/programs in our county and we think they all do a good job meeting the tremendous needs in our community. However, we also know that not everybody feels the same way about each organization Don't let your feelings about one organization stop you from donating. Instead, designate your donation to the organization of your choosing. This way, you still get the benefit of a payroll deduction, but have total control over where your money goes.
Know of some other United Way-related myths?
Contact us so we can set the facts straight!