At work they used a mandatory meeting to promote the United Way. While there is nothing wrong with giving to charity, the United Way is run more like a mafia than a charitable organization. United Way’s goal is to embed themselves with employers. They then use fear and intimidation to extract money from employees. Donations are expected from the entire workforce, and those who do not contribute are singled out as outliers. They might be skipped up for promotion or not given good assignments. After giving to the United Way, one feels more like they just got done with a mugging then a charitable donation.
The strong-arming is one thing, but the end projects for these donations range from worthless to absurd. No one in their right mind would claim that $100 donation to the United Way is the most efficient and sociality beneficial use of that $100.
The above video is for the South Dakota region. Excluding data from the Indian reservations (aka Tragedy of the Commons / Moral Hazard problems), not only does South Dakota have an extremely low poverty rate but also a minuscule unemployment rate as well. For example, Sioux Falls, the largest urban area in South Dakota, has a poverty rate of 8.4% compared to a national average of about 13% and also an unemployment rate of 4.4% compared to the national average of 9%. Usually urban rates tend to be higher than the rural rates.
This is also using the US definition of poverty ($22k per year) which is radically different than the world definition of poverty ($1.25 per day).
If any South Dakotan is in need of help, it would be the American Indians on the reservations. But, chances that the United Way would not just contribute to the problem are slim to none.
Instead, the United Way gives lavish food to rich Americans, all the while fostering pride in taking handouts (I wonder who they will vote for when they grow up). Other programs apparently involving following around janitors with video cameras and also stashing away the elderly. Does one think that this is the best use per dollar. I can think of a few much better uses off the top of my head.
The particular speaker to whom I listened stated that the backpack food program usage rose from 45% to 60% of children at his school. He said that this shows the US is increasing in poverty and that there is also a greater need for donations. Oddly, he also claimed this increase shows success, showing the usefulness of his organization. When a sign of “needing more money” is a sign of a successful program, that indicates that the program is broken.
Giving to the United Way is a scam.