Skip to comments.Pressured to donate to United Way
Posted on 12/02/2010 6:54:35 AM PST by Ro_Thunder
So, my place of employment has been pressuring us with high-profile donation campaigns for a month or so. Now, I'm getting emails from the Chairman of the Board who has pledged a one-for-one dollar donation, and wants me to be a first time donor.
I have several problems with this, mainly that the United Way nationally does fund Planned Parenthood. Now, locally they say they do not. However, United Way says you can make donations to specific charities. The issue I have with that is does United Way take something of the top for handling these donations? If so, why? And if so, then of course donate specifically to the charity in question rather than UW.
It really bothers me that they have this full court press, it's almost extortion. There's a month full of events (cookies, socializing, and ice cream), on top of a raffle for people who donated (prizes included a Dell Netbook, wireless router, 1 TB external hard drive, and such). Then, the email from the Chairman last night really pushed me - they're keeping track of who donates, obviously by payroll deduction, and now they're hitting up those of us who do not succumb to their pressure.
This is the email I received last year in regards to the question of if UW of Greater Houston supports Planned Parenthood.
This is a direct quote, straight in copy:
"I can only speak for United Way of Greater Houston. There are over 1400 United Ways across the nation. All are separate and autonamous having their own board and serving their own communities. United Way of Greater Houston serves Harris, Waller, Fort Bend and the Bay area.(area around Nasa). Planned Parenthood is not one of our funded agencies."
The same thing happened to my mother.
Teachers were told to give and if not, their names were announced.
It is truly appalling
I refuse to donate to any charity which has any employee that makes more than I do, simply because I know that money is going into the pockets of people who do not need it. I’d rather give to my church, or any number of local community groups where I can verify that most of the money is going to help those who are in need.
I give to the charity of my choice, my way.
And yes, it’s extortion.
My advice is to give directly to the charity of your choice, keep the receipt for tax purposes, and show it (with redacted amount) to your boss if he/she presses the point. They don’t give a crap about the United Way; they’re playing a corporate numbers game.
Just say that you contribute to your charities directly, and don't believe in middlemen skimming your contributions off the top.
When I was pressured by my company to donate to United Way, I made a one-time contribution of $1.00.
That gets them off your back as they can proclaim their company is 100%.
Tell them you don’t support abortion providers and ask if there’s someone else you can give your donation to.
I give to the Boy Scouts.
If push comes to shove and you want to keep your job, donate to whoever and live with it.
The United Way has always been a pressured donation from my experience in the ‘70 when I was in the Military and in my civilian jobs with large companies.
I find it appalling that companies pressure people to contribute. It makes the company look good in its PR. Otherwise, the company could otherwise not care less.
Yes, you CAN, on your contribution card, specify specific charities. I’ve specified the Boy Scouts, for example. Charities under United Way vary. For example, ultra-left entities are supported in CA, while the Boy Scouts are not. Conversely, in Texas, the Boy Scouts are supported.
Make your decision on what you want to do. But remember, if you’re getting a bulk-mail shot from your bosses’ boss, regretably there may be some reprocussions if you don’t contribute. Sorry, but there it is.
I used to work for a phone company where there was pressure to give to united way. I was in the union at the time and basically said (under my breath) FU, and just ignored them.
United Way has a huge overhead, their top person gets paid very well.
Better to donate to the Salvation Army.
Check the list of participating agencies in your area.
In my hometown, small town in Ohio, there is a director who gets a meager salary, but rest are volunteers. I always designated Boy scouts and the local food bank.
Marking specific charities on the card means nothing, unless everyone does it. It just means that they redirect the “unmarked money” a little more towards the “unmarked charities” to even it out.
It’s a scam.
Forced charity-giving stinks in God’s nostrils.
I like it!
When the United Way stopped supporting the Boy Scouts because of their no-gay-troop-leaders stance, I stopped supporting the United Way.
At a former employer, we were shamefully intimidated and coerced to contribute.
The employer (at that time) provided no health care plan for workers yet was forcing us to contribute, so disadvantaged/underserved could have medical attention on OUR nickel. (BTW I made so little, I qualified for government assistance, MYSELF-HA!!)
Also, I REALLY resent the overly emotional appeal they make every year when they'd be more credible if they were LESS emotional.
Years ago Xerox tried to force me to pay into United Way. I told them I was working directly with the Charity of MY choice and that when I gave them MY money, it went into the charity’s bank account right away.
Then I explained that United Way cheats by playing funny games. Say you promise $10 a month for a year and then change jobs six months later. United Way cooks the books to say that you paid $60 and owe $60, so the net to the charity is $0.
I was TOLD I was wrong and a United Way representative was brought into the discussion who then confirmed the above. Sadly, Xerox then escalated pressure on me. I told Xerox’s campaign manager and the Human Resources rodent that they were trying to coerce me and we should ‘go formal’ under California’s employee law if they wanted to keep pushing.
So after I left Xerox and only use their products reluctantly. So as far as I am concert, both Xerox and the United Way are scum sucking gutter inhabitants.
The military does it too, both for (in my case) Navy Relief and the UW. Nothing like having your CO ‘suggest’ that 100% giving would be VERY GOOD for the command. I always picked a charity and gave directly to them, avoiding the UW skimming scam.
Brilliant move JRF..
HR departments are geldings do to Political Correctness, Diversity, and the "Threat" of any lawsuit that would get into the public sphere that tarnishes the "Corporate Image". The best they can do is run the block to keep out of lawsuits IMHO, that is all they care about.
The potentiality of X Y or Z Corporation on the local news with a Anti Religion Lawsuit has them reaching for the Kayopectate. I had a fellow employee that used to come in late on 3rd shift on Sunday/Monday Mornings. Claimed he need the extra time because of his religious obligations that day. The front line boss would even go their and let it slide....
They dropped the Boy Scouts because they won’t have homosexual scoutmasters. Don’t give to them.
I’ve been there before. Sometimes I gave, sometimes I did not (when I did, I directed my contribution but I’ve heard that they just make up the difference by trimming the amount they give that group out of the general fund). I no longer work there.
People need to take to reporting employers that “require” this since it cannot be legally binding for employment.
Yes but what does a company get if they show 100 percent of its employees participated?
Is it ego’s or do they get something out of it?
“My advice is to give directly to the charity of your choice, keep the receipt for tax purposes, and show it (with redacted amount) to your boss if he/she presses the point.”
I agree. We NEVER give to United Way anymore. They are not trustworthy with that money.
United Way is the only charity organization that is allowed yearly to come into my place of employeement and extort money from the captive audience. And yearly, I don’t give one red cent to them. If I want to give anything to any charity, I do so in my time an my way of choosing, in an amount I feel like giving.
I used to go along with the game until a report aired several years back about how UW was rampant with fraud and how the higher-ups were lining their pockets with other people’s donations. That’s when I quit playing the game. Where I work, there is a move to make each division a 100% participant. Each year, I see to it that we are not. I can not and will not be a victim of legalized extortion. And that’s what UW does. I’m sure UW does some good work but I refuse to subsidize them in any way.
Back in the late 60’s it was literally a firing offense if you didn’t sign on....I did a one-time thing, since at the time “I” was my favorite charity and needed the bucks to keep my own ass above water.
Up the chain of command, it gets reflected in their own review somewhere. Perhaps they then received a bonus bigger than the salary of the typical employee they are shaking down.
Email the company and the chairman back informing them that you donate to your own charity, name a pro-life charity, and tell them you will be expecting a dollar-for-dollar matching contribution!
My employer always pushed United Way, at the exclusion of virtually all other charities. After a normal business meeting, a UW presentation would begin, with the implication that we had to sit there and listen. I was proud of one of my buddies who stood up and asked if this was mandatory, or if we could leave. The UW spokesman sheepishly said no, it was voluntary. Several of us got up and walked out.
Later one of the UW coordinators, who I always got along with otherwise, asked me why I wasn’t contributing. I told her I didn’t like being strong-armed. She didn’t talk to me very much after that.
I’ve always suspected that the higher-ups in my corporation received some sort of a spiff (kickback) for the amount of contributions they generated. I could find no other explanation as to why they were so “in my face” about it. There had to be some sort of self-interest involved.
To their credit local United Ways through their Boards of Directors,who are volunteers from the local community, can pretty much direct where local donations will go. Some United Ways also allow designated donations so your contribution can go only to those charities you designate. I saw that many worthwhile groups received United Way support in our area including the Salvation Army.
That said, United Ways in my opinion spend too much on fund raising, offices and paid staff. The Executive Director of the local United Way I worked with was I'm sure being compensated at the level of a large company president and drove a new BMW and certainly didn't buy her clothes at J C Penny. United Way campaigns in larger areas in my opinion tend to be lavish and over the top. I also did not like the rah-rah campaigns that do put peer pressure on donors. A portion of the local United Way dollars also is given to support the national United Way organization.
I have mixed feelings about donating to United Way. In some communities the United Way is a local effort without slick fundraisers and high paid executives and donations are generally spent responsibly. However, in some of the larger United Way agencies I think the overhead costs are exorbitant and you might be better to make your own donations to the charities of your choice.
Search for William Aramony. You will see where a lot of worker's hard earned money did go to.
Tell them, “Yes, and the drunk on the corner assured me that my contribution would go to food.”
“Money is fungible and I will not support an organization that funds abortion, period!”
Just say no. That’s all. “No.” Don’t have to explain anything or make any excuses or name other charities you give to. Be firm.
If they push it tell them it’s bordering on workplace harassment and that you are taking notes on the issue and may have to seek remedy. Be careful how you say that. Do not mention the word “legal”, “lawyer”, “court”, “suit” or such.
Do take notes, dates, times, names and a summary of what was said and how it was said. If you are firm, brief, polite and unemotionally firm on the issue it is unlikely to go further.
If they push beyond that level, then do see an employment lawyer and get the free initial consult as to what to do next.
Here’s the ‘Charity Navigator’ page for Houston’s United Way:
The charity president makes $271K per year.
Hubbies work pushed United Way heavily, he refused - except there was an option for ‘directed funds’ to a guy he knew that the funds would go directly to him - once that man passed away he stopped donating completely to them.
I contribute to charities of my own choosing. Charities with which I am familiar and assured of the legitimate use of funds. While I do understand the great desire of our company to have a good Public Relations appearance, the spamming and near extortion level being employed for the United Way campaign is offensive to my beliefs, my morals, and my ethics.
Please reconsider the manner in which you are handling what should be a voluntary matter of charity.
The person who is managing the compaign for your company, dept, whatever will provide for you a form on which you can designate what organization receives your donation. When I worked for CIGNA I always designated HOSPICE because they helped me take care of both of my parents during their final illness.
You can participate without being supportive of planned parenthood. I ALWAYS had to ask for the form though, they’d rather you didn’t designate.
However, United Way says you can make donations to specific charities. No you can not.
Just say ‘NO’.
How hard is that?
I wouldn’t give a red cent to them !
The last company I worked for, they were in your face about donating. In fact our managers got bonuses for very high participation. One bad manager I worked for told me if I didn’t donate, he wouldn’t get his bonus and he would remember when it came time for performance reviews.
I still refused to give.
Tell them you only donate to the Salvation Army, as 100% of the money goes to help the poor, vs line the pockets of the UW administrators and telemarketers.
Very good advice.
The same advice would apply to donations to individual candidates instead of supporting the Republican National Committee. They do the same thing that United Way does with Planned Parenthood only they do it with RINOs.
I had that same situation a couple of years ago, and I solved it by utilizing their option to donate to a charity of my choice via United Way. I set up a small donation monthly to the NRA. Now it wasn’t a lot of money, and I know that United Way takes a chunk of it, but I snickered at the thought that they would have to send money to the NRA anyway.
A year or so after that, the big UW started fizzling out and is gone from here now.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.