My company wants me to donate to the United Way

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by leekohler, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #1
    Hey guys, maybe I shouldn't be irritated by this but I am. I just got an e-mail saying that meetings would be held all day at our office for the United Way. The UW has always p***ed me off due to the fact that they support discriminatory organizations like the Boy Scouts, even thought the UW claims to have a non-discrimination policy requirement for those they fund.

    http://www.s-t.com/daily/01-01/01-26-01/a12lo068.htm

    I feel that nobody at their place of employment should be asked to donate to such an organization. Should I make those feelings known in say, a very diplomatic letter to the president of our company? Should I just shut up? It also creeps me out that the company will know just exactly who's donating due to the fact it would be a payroll deduction.
     
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #2
    Shut up ....

    The ointment they use to cure problem hemorrhoids at work is usually quite effective.
     
  3. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
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    Chicago, Illinois
    #3
    OK :)
     
  4. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    Randy's House
    #4
    Marriott used to ask me to do that.

    Eff them.

    Anyone who supports the Hitler Youth ain't no friend of mine.
     
  5. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Chicago, Illinois
    #5
    I'm definitely not supporting the UW, but why in the hell ask your employees to? I just think it's rude. If I want to donate to a charity, I will. I don't need the company I work for sending me e-mails highlighted in red, asking me to donate.
     
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    Oct 11, 2004
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    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #6
    By all means, let your company know the background to why you won't be participating (I am assuming these meetings are not mandatory, and certainly contribution should not be mandatory)

    The United Way represents to the employer a way to participate in the community (by giving the opportunity to them for payroll deduction, offering paid employee time for meetings etc.) without the employer having to vett and choose between a bunch of competing charities. The UW keeps most of the money local, and funds a broad range of charities. They are seen as a 'safe' choice for the employer.

    You might point out to them that you have a specific objection to one of the charities that is funded by UW, and ask that they give you the alternative to go on payroll deduction for another charity (UNICEF, Red Cross, Medecins sans Frontieres, etc.)
     
  7. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    toronto
    #7
    when i had a company, at the end of the year we would donate $1000 in the name of each employee to the charity of their choosing.

    lee, i don't know what kind of environment you work in, if they'd be receptive to hearing another viewpoint, but if it's truly bothering you, i'd say you should think about writing a polite letter.
     
  8. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 19, 2003
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    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    #8
    The CEO probably owes somebody who's on the United Way board a political favor, and is too cheap to have the company make the payment. Just ignore the whole thing. If they bug you, tell them you're saving for a down payment or your kids college fund or something.
     
  9. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #9
    Well, I work in a very cool environment, but we recently got bought by a multinational. It's been several months of big changes, so I don;t know if I should say anything or not.
     
  10. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #10
    I never really understood the United Way...they're just a clearinghouse for other charities. Why wouldn't you skip the middleman and give directly to charities that you want to support. That way all of your money goes where you want, and none of it gets skimmed off to pay for United Way infrastructure (or William Aramony's vacations).
     
  11. Flowbee macrumors 68030

    Flowbee

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    #11
    A lot of companies do this type of United Way drive. It's been a long time since I've worked at a place that did it, but I seem to remember having the option of specifying which UW partner charity you wanted your donation to go to. That way you could keep your money out of the hands of groups you don't support. Do they still give you that option?
     
  12. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Chicago, Illinois
    #12
    I don't know. I guess I'll find out at the meeting. Thanks for the info.
     
  13. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #13
    Because it's easier - you don't have to work out how to spread your money, you don't have to check out whether that particular fundraiser knocking on the door is legit or a scammer, because you can donate by visa or payroll deduction or other convenient ways that small charities can't set up, because arguably there is an economy of scale in advertising and fundraising overheads that one clearinghouse might be more cost effective than 50 charities all advertising and competing in the same market for your dollars.
     
  14. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #14
    That's one view, albeit from the cynical side of the fence.

    There is peer pressure at the business level to be seen doing good works... and as I mentioned earlier UW is a safe and easy choice for a company to support. Not every company owner has the courage and conviction of Quark's Tim Gill to dedicate their resources to one cause.

    The actions of a company do have an impact. Baremetal, the domain registrar I do business with donates to your choice of 6 charities with every single registration or renewal. Y'know what? They are more expensive than GoDaddy or 1+1 or whoever. But they get all my business because I approve of their committment to the community.
     
  15. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #15
    I would suggest asking to see the books of the company so you could base a potential donation on the percentage of their total income they have donated.Secondly I,d tell them to piss off,what has it got to do with them who you may or may not donate money,time or anything else to.
     
  16. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

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    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    #16
    Funny thing is, the United Way was formed by several groups - including the Boy Scouts and the Red Cross - to help them raise money so they could spend more time on their programming.

    I think you can specify who gets your donation from the United Way. I don't recall the exact title for the method, but ask to look at a donation card and a list of supporting charities, then choose one to your liking. Also, you don't have to give $1,000 - just give them a $10 check and tell them that's all you can do right now. They are looking to be in good political favor in the community by having 100% employee participation.
     
  17. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #17
    No need to speak up. Just let your money (or lack thereof) do the talking.
     
  18. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #18
    I got a United Way thing at work a few weeks back and it still has the option of specifying the specific charities that you would like your funds to go to.
     
  19. mpw Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    #19
    My advice would be to ignore it if it's something you need to sign-up to and decline politely if you need to opt-out or are asked directly.

    I used to work in a large office of an even larger company. When I was there I got into a couple of stupid arguments over this sort of thing when the company announced that they'd do a similar scheme and those that DIDN'T want to contribute had to contact HR/admin. I didn't contribute and was given a hard time because everyone knew I didn't.

    The first time however was because I worked in a department of ~20 people and the manager had everyone's birthday in his Outlook and it was expected that A)everyone put in £1 for a present for the birthday boy/girl, and B)that the birthday boy/girl would buy cakes for everyone in the dept.

    I didn’t take a cake (you were asked to make a selection before they were bought) and only put money in for people I got on with. It came to a head when this one guy, who I didn’t get on with complained to the manager that I hadn’t put in for his present when months earlier he’d put in for mine. I was pissed off at that but more so that the manager called me on it and I had to ‘explain myself’ at the weekly staff meeting rather than one-to-one.

    I don’t mind giving to charity but when I do I’ll choose to whom when and how. Likewise I don’t do birthday or Christmas accept for the select few friends and family that I’d happily give gifts to at any time of the year just for being them/there.
     
  20. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #20
    Thanks guys. I won't be donating to them, but I also am not going to say why unless asked.
     
  21. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #21
    Donate to somewhere else instead if you don't agree with the UW. And yeah, I wouldn't say why. Doubt anyone will ask.
     

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