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Employers who try and strong arm you to donate to United Way

So far I've worked for two employers who have used strong arm tactics to force their employees to donate a percentage of their paycheck to this scam charity. What are these companies getting out of it?

I never did donate and I know they noticed.

by Anonymousreply 1002/22/2021

I have a funny story about this. At my first "real" job out of college, I planned to quit and move to another city in a few months, so when they started the United Way drive, I pledged some ridiculous amount like 25% of each paycheck, knowing by the time it went into effect I'd be long gone.

They made a HUGE DEAL about it, writing a piece about me and my generosity in the company newsletter -- as a model for other employees!!! And this was a fairly large company, about 2,000 people within the campus I worked (it was a medical research facility).

Well...I didn't get to move, and I couldn't quit until I found another job, so I had to humble myself and tell HR I had to change my contribution to like the minimal amount. They didn't make me feel bad about it -- I gave them some excuse like my mom lost her job and I needed to help her or something -- but I felt like a complete ASSSSSSSHOLE.

by Anonymousreply 102/22/2021

Fuck that. United Way is a covenient way for Human Resources to minimize its efforts it matching or handling employees contributions. That's it. Anything else is misplaced competitiveness from some jackass, the CEO, some HR sub-department head, someone who had a bet with someone from a similar sized firm about who could get the most donations.

Does it really make employers feel more vested in their company that it runs an annual UW campaign? Or that it matches some part of their contribution to charities? Maybe, but it's usually misguided enthusiasm to shove it down the throats of employees — probably by the same twat who makes a big fucking deal out of selling Girl Scout cookies or trying to get you to sponsor them in an AIDS Ride, or a Pink RIbbon Run or some fucking thing where you wish they would just ask for $25 and you could be done with it.

In my experience no one ever asks directly, face to face, it's just a campaign of emails and reminders of emails. Easily ignored.

by Anonymousreply 202/22/2021

I haven't encountered this in about a decade, but yes, I've had several employers do the same, OP. I never understood. We were given a huge dog-and-pony show (on company time and expense) and then strong-armed into donating a percentage of our salaries. (We were also strong-armed, in one case, into buying shitty company stock, but that's another thread.)

There was definitely something corrupt at work. As I recall, United Way has a shitty record of 1) grossly overpaying its corporate officers and 2) funnelling only part of the contributions to the actual beneficiaries.

by Anonymousreply 302/22/2021

Years ago, an employer really pushed United Way donations. I refused to donate, because at the time, the AIDS epidemic was raging and the United Way didn't support AIDS relief organizations.

My manager came to me personally to push for me to give a portion of my paycheck to the United Way, and I told him that if he continued to do this, I would complain to HR.

He shut up and never asked me again.

by Anonymousreply 402/22/2021

How is United Way a scam, OP? I've never heard anything bad about them and they have a pretty decent rating on charity watch sites. I think they donate about 87 cents for every dollar they take in.

I do charitable donations through payroll deductions, not to United Way, but have never felt pressured into doing so at all, they simply send us out a form letter with the list of charities to choose from, (United Way is one of them), at the end of the year. I find it far less annoying than my co-workers who are always trying to fundraise for their kid's sports teams and schools.

by Anonymousreply 502/22/2021

R4 reminded me that United Way also contributed (and heavily promoted) the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) at a time when they had the double whammy of 1) removing openly gay scouts and leaders from their ranks even while 2) they were dealing with sexual harassment/molestation charges. (Even the Future Farmers of America didn't make kids take a pledge that they were straight, FFS.)

I have no idea what their relationship to BSA is now. I suspect United Way is/was extremely right wing.

by Anonymousreply 602/22/2021

They can all go fuck themselves (the employer, AND The United Way). I do enough for others privately throughout the year. They're not getting a dime.

by Anonymousreply 702/22/2021

I worked for a company that heavily pushed UW donations, but after some scandal about misuse of $$/spending an inordinate amount on administration, the company backed off. I haven't given to the UW since. Now I give directly to charities to cut out the middle man

by Anonymousreply 802/22/2021

It's good PR. Donations garnered from employees are made to the United Way (or any other charity) by the company, in the company's name. "CorporateName made a huge donation this year to the United Way. Aren't they a wonderful company?" Well, no they badgered their employees into giving up a portion of their earned income (and who are probably underpaid to begin with) and making it seem the company is a paragon of generosity and a valued community supporter yet they really contributed nothing. The company gets the credit and the employees get the squeeze.

And it should be noted that some companies do retain a small portion of what was collected to cover "administrative costs". This is a form of wage theft and it's legal.

Also, major corporations with many locations will set a target amount for each location and head office exerts a great deal of pressure on branch offices to meet those donation targets with the same gusto they set productivity goals.

by Anonymousreply 902/22/2021

Ugh. The office manager asked me to handle the United Way Campaign one year, and of course there was a MAJOR scandal about the huge salary of the president of the United Way...was difficult to get anyone to contribute. Frankly, I've never been a fan.

by Anonymousreply 1002/22/2021
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