To the editor:
A sincere thank you goes out to the United Way and the decades of good work they have accomplished across this country. The column written by David Foote (Executive Director of the United Way of Kitsap County) in the Sept. 21 issue of the Review painted a positive picture of the history and impact of his organization. I do not dispute his depiction.
However, I do think it’s important to point out some details he omitted. As I understand it:
Many of the dollars you donate to the United Way do not reach the nonprofit agencies their website lists. Undesignated dollars mainly go into their granting program, and to my knowledge, no Bainbridge Island agencies have been given grant dollars for several years.
Even dollars that you designate to a specific agency do not all reach their destination. The United Way of Kitsap County takes between 20 percent and 25 percent of each dollar to cover their overhead and uncollected pledges. (And didn’t they just complete a building remodel to their headquarters in Bremerton - the second in less than eight years?)
This is not a caution not to give! Nonprofit organizations appreciate gifts now more than ever. You may certainly chose to continue to give to the United Way; they are a long-standing organization and have systems in place to make contributing easy.
However, as you ponder where to direct your charitable donations, maybe you should consider eliminating the middle man. Give directly to the charities of your choice. Alternatively, complete your red envelope from One Call for All, arriving soon in your mailbox. One Call for All is dedicated to ensuring that 100 percent of every donation reaches the charities they serve. They do not take any percentage of donations to cover overhead or other fees. They raise that separately. Even undesignated donations are divided among charities involved with One Call for All.
Please contribute. Please do so wisely. Be informed about where your dollars go.