United Way Case

Topics: United Way of America, Non-profit organization, United States Pages: 5 (1456 words) Published: February 28, 2012
The United Way of America and United Way International are part of a federation of nonprofit organizations formed by caring people to serve the needs of their communities. They bring neighborhoods together and facilitate measures toward making a difference to better the world. They have over 1,300 local United Ways in the United States and over 3,000 United Way organizations operating in 45 countries. They raise funds and distribute them to the most effective local service providers, build strong alliances, and coordinated volunteer support among charities. An obstacle that United Way needs to overcome is how many people want to have their donation used in a specific manner. Some people are not interested in giving their money for a general charitable purpose but want to specifically state how they want their money to be spent. If there was a way for United Way to come up with different focus type groups using money is a variety of way, perhaps people would be able to pick the focus group they wish to donate their money to, thereby choosing how their money will be spent. Situation Analysis

Starting in 2000, United Way reached a plateau in the United States. This was due to challenges such as recruiting and keeping qualified fund-raisers. Also a growing focus on large gifts from very wealthy people and celebrities reduced motivation by common people when publicized. The American people wanted to know where their money was going and how much of it was actually going to a charity. They wanted to be able to know that the money they were donating was going to a cause that they supported rather than something that did not mean as much to them. The events of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina were two of the biggest examples because a large number of people shifted their donations to those causes. It gave them the satisfaction of knowing where exactly their money was going and being a part of something bigger than themselves.

Situational Analysis Continued:

United Way in the financial environment was increasing year after year and had great support from donors until they started to find themselves in a hole. Like many other nonprofit organizations, United Way was accused and found guilty of many claims of fraud. The biggest scandal came in 1992 when the president and CEO of the company, William Aramony, and two other executives, were convicted of conspiracy and money laundering to the extent of $1 million. The next one came in 2001 from the Washington, D.C. chapter after CEO Oral Suer look more than $500,000 to pay for his own expenses including annual leave and early pension. Other cases like these ones occurred through the early 2000’s and began to seriously tarnish the reputation that United Way had been known for for so long.

A management system that had been stable for over a decade was finally starting the crack. When local chapters began to question the declining financial rewards, they threatened to disband and create their own organization. This was due to the growing fact that nonprofits had sometimes been notoriously ineffective at accomplishing their social missions, getting maximum return on their money, and been willing to take on too much risk. With resources becoming scarce, chapters were forced to downsize and consolidate. While this offered an opportunity for potential savings and efficient savings, it also meant a lack of focus that could present challenges to certain managers and groups.

Marketing was something that United Ways did very well and was very successful with. They had partnerships with many reputable organizations, the biggest one being the National Football League. Through the use of public appearances from NFL players, coaches, and owners, United Way effectively turned itself into a major charity player. Also high profile people such as Bill and Melinda Gates gave very large donations that looked good to public as well as receiving a large sum of money from Bank of...
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