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United Way of Allen County currently does not, and never has, provided funding for programs that provide abortion services.
UWAC invests in more than 60 programs and initiatives in our community and none of these organizations provide abortions, nor are there plans to fund organizations that engage in this practice.
UWAC recognizes that abortion is an issue that evokes strong emotions in our community. At the same time, the pro-choice / pro-life debate is a controversial and potentially divisive subject. It is essential that United Way not participate in this debate on issues of morality if it is to sustain the community consensus required to be effective. United Way can best serve Allen County if it is kept outside a pro-choice / pro-life debate.
Every donor wants to make sure their contribution is used to better the community. In order for that to happen, non-profit organizations must have practices in place to ensure that each dollar is invested properly and that the organization is working efficiently and effectively.
United Way of Allen County has policies and practices in place to make certain that all monies invested through United Way are accounted for and used wisely.
These practices include:
While UWAC pays dues to maintain its membership to United Way of America, it remains a local, autonomous organization. Regrettably, the fraudulent practices at the national United Way in the early 1990's undertaken by its then leader, William Aramony, cast a shadow on the financial practices of the entire family of the more than 1,300 local United Ways in the United States. Additionally, there have been other cases of financial impropriety uncovered in a small number of other United Ways.
It is important to note that United Way of Allen County has never been accused of, nor found to have engaged in, any fraudulent financial practices. The community should take pride in UWAC's long-standing record of financial efficiency, effectiveness and accountability.
To further its commitment to accountability, UWAC has entered into a partnership with the Better Business Bureau of Northeastern Indiana to streamline standards of accountability for itself and its agency partners. Donors will be able to see which Allen County non-profit agencies, including those under the United Way umbrella, meet BBB standards.
Diversity and Inclusion
United Way of Allen County is committed to the principle of inclusion and expects the organization and its representatives to act in ways that respect, support and protect the dignity, uniqueness and intrinsic worth of every person. In support of this commitment United Way has adopted the following diversity and inclusion policy:
The officers, directors, committee members, employees and persons served by this agency shall be selected entirely on a non-discriminatory basis with respect to age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, national origin, disability or any other barriers to participation.
United Way also respects and values the diversity of opinion in the community and seeks to partner with other organizations that share similar goals for the community, including a commitment to diversity and inclusion that is both legal and appropriate for that organization. Agency partners are required to submit their own board approved statement or policy on inclusiveness and diversity and evidence that their board has reviewed the policy annually for compliance. Any board approved policy that does not address all the components of diversity and inclusion as outlined in the UWAC policy may result in a determination that the agency does not meet this standard. Such determination will be made with due consideration of the uniqueness of each organization. In the absence of a policy, the agency and its board must affirm that it supports, follows and demonstrates compliance with United Way’s policy.
With respect to clients served by services funded by United Way, agency partners must also submit a board approved affirmation stating that they do not discriminate with respect to age, gender, race, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or any other barriers to participation, except as clearly outlined in their request for funding and appropriate to their focus and mission.
United Way’s standards committee, the volunteer group that reviews adherence to guidelines such as inclusiveness policies, reviews these documents every other year. In addition, all United Way agency partners go through a comprehensive review process every three years for funding. Trained volunteers examine all funding requests in detail to ensure that funded services achieve measurable goals in one or more of our seven outcomes. These volunteers then make funding recommendations to the volunteer Board of Directors, which reviews these recommendations and makes the final funding decision. Funding is provided for individual services, not for overall agency operations. Funded services must address issues in four priority areas: education, income, health and basic needs.
If you would like to be a part of the standards committee or investment teams that serve to review and recommend agencies for funding, you can volunteer to do so by contacting United Way of Allen County at 260-422-4776. For information on United Way Worldwide's position on diversity and inclusion click here.
Program vs. Agency Funding
United Way of Allen County provides funding for specific programs that address the targeted needs of our community assessment, Goals for the Common Good. These needs are revealed in our bi-annual Community Assessment, a comprehensive document that helps set our funding priorities. These dollars come from our general Community Fund and are allocated by volunteers in the community who review grant requests for program funding from our agency partners.
No monies from this pool of funds are given directly to our agency partners to use at their discretion. Funds are used only to support those identified programs which our agency partners administer.
This practice of program funding began in 1996 and was meant to make the most of the dollars available by making sure they are used in an efficient and effective manner. These targeted programs are held to strict accountability standards and are reviewed on an every-other-year basis to coincide with our funding cycle.
Any gift to the community is a great gift. By earmarking your gift to the general Community Fund, you will have the greatest impact on Allen County by allowing our volunteers to invest it where it's most needed.
Our experience shows us that the best way to help the greatest number of people is to focus on the root causes of our community's most serious problems. We bring people together from across Allen County - people from government, business, faith groups, nonprofits, and neighborhoods - to tackle the issues that matter most.
We then work with our agency partners and other organizations to create a collective solution that no one agency could deliver alone. When you contribute to the general Community Fund, you help more than one person or one organization. United Way is the collective power of people working together toward long-term solutions, not short-term fixes.
United Way of Allen County will direct designated gifts only to our initiatives, agency partners, or to United Ways in other communities. When you designate a gift, those dollars are forwarded to the agency in addition to any other funding that each agency receives. Unlike a gift to the Community Fund, which is subject to monitoring of results for individuals and families, these designated gifts can be used at the agency's discretion. While all of our agency partners meet the highest standards set forth by United Way, we have no control over the outcomes generated by these designated donations.
Out of respect for the donor's intent, UWAC retains only 12.5% of the actual amount collected on designated pledges to our local Partner Agencies in order to recover a portion of our fundraising costs. UWAC retains 10% of designated gifts to United Ways/Funds that are part of the Northeast Indiana Consortium and 12.5% on gifts to other United Ways. No other fees or percentages are charged against these gifts. It is assumed that the agencies will utilize part of these funds for administrative costs and the donor would not intend for both UWAC and the Agency Partner to take administrative costs from these designated gifts.