Monday, April 9, 2012

United Way's Commitment to Being Good Stewards of Your Donor Dollars

Many Oregonians may have heard of State Senate Bill 40, initiated by Attorney General Kroger, which targets "bad" charities or those non profits that spend less than 30% of funds they raise on programs and revoking their tax-exempt status. Not long ago AG Kroger also released the list of the 20 Worst Charities of 2010 that were registered to raise funds in Oregon (not to worry, United Way is no where near that list!). 

While it seems as though the bill is stalled in the Senate ( it does bring up an opportunity to consider how your philanthropy dollars are being spent. United Way would like to make sure our supporters are well aware of all the many steps we take to be good stewards of your donation and that, with your support, we're having a direct and significant impact on improving lives of thousands of people locally. 

1. The United Way Cornerstone Partners program ensures that 100% of the dollars you generously donate to United Way help people improve their education, income and health. We're able to do that thanks to 16 local companies that have chosen to designate their corporate gifts to the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, to help underwrite operating costs. Because of their support, 100% of contributions received will be invested in local programs to help people in need.

2. United Way of the Columbia-Willamette is proud to say our fiscal efficiency rating exceeds industry standards for non profit organizations. But you don't have to just take our word for it, information is available on GuideStar and Charity Navigator. 

3. United Way does the research. We conduct extensive community assessments to understand the needs of the community and fund programs designed to create system-wide improvements in education, income (economic stability and poverty) and health. By conducting the research, we know where best to use your dollars. Read these extensive United Way Community Needs Assessment and other reports. 

4. Our innovative grant funding model includes requirements that all our projects conduct rigorous and regular outcome reports to make sure the dollars that are spent, your dollars, are put to maximum use to benefit the community. 

5. We take considerable care to be transparent about our financial reporting and make our financial documents readily available on our website for our donors and the public to review.

6. We communicate with our supporters about what results we have achieved as a result of your generous donation. United Way's Community Impact Results Report showcases the measurable results we were able to achieve over the past five years. Each year we were able to improve the lives of 100,000 people right here in our local community with your help. 

To learn more about the results United Way of the Columbia-Willamette is able to achieve, consider signing up for our United Way e-newsletter and we'll keep you well informed of how we're being good stewards of your donor dollars.

Thank you for your support.

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