Questionable: How much United Way money goes to the people?
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“What percent of the money donated to the United Way actually gets to the people, and what percent goes for administration?”
– Victoria, Sugar Camp
The Star Journal asked Tracy Beckman, executive director of the Northwoods United Way. Beckman responded:
“The Northwoods United Way is a member of United Way Worldwide, and we are proud to say that $.98 of every dollar stays here and benefits our partner agencies and our local economy!
“The breakdown of how funds spent is as follows: $.87 of every dollar raised goes directly to our partner agencies. The remaining $.13 covers administrative costs, including salary for a part-time staff person, office supplies and fund-raising costs, for which we shop locally. However, there are some branded items that we cannot buy in the Northwoods so we shop at the United Way Store. That means that only $.02 of that $.13 leaves the community in the form of these purchases and organizational dues to United Way of Wisconsin and United Way Worldwide.
“Bottom line: We spend 87 percent on our partner agencies and 13 percent on administration. To put that in perspective, national non-profit guidelines suggest that non-profits spend up to 25 percent on administration. We believe that is way too much, and we strive to find the best deals and to shop locally, but in the end, it does cost some money to make money for our community.
“We are a member in good standing of United Way Worldwide (UWW). Members are required to pay 1 percent of the total funds raised each year as dues to our national organization. Being a member of UWW has benefits that reach far beyond the 1 percent we pay in dues. We are allowed use of the brand, resources, talents, collective thinking and best practices of the UWW organization. In addition, UWW has in place stringent membership requirements to which all local United Ways must adhere. These policies protect staff, board members and most importantly, donors, from fraud and corruption.
“We always appreciate the opportunity to educate the public about their United Way. You can find more information about the Northwoods United Way on our website at northwoodsunitedway.org, or visit our facebook page at facebook.com/northwoodsunited way.”
Editor’s note: Send in your questions to [email protected], or mail them to the Star Journal, 24 W. Rives St., P.O.?Box 558 Rhinelander, WI?54501.