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I saw these posts on Facebook, are they true?

We appreciate the chance to address these claims so we can give current and prospective supporters all the information needed for you to come to your own opinions about United Way and our work locally. Since we can't verify the sources of all of these numbers, we can share our knowledge of United Way Worldwide, United Way of Central Kentucky, and important factors to consider when deciding how to invest your hard-earned money in philanthropic work. In short, these graphics are incorrect and have been debunked by outside sources. Here are some facts about our local relationship with United Way Worldwide and how dollars raised in our service area interact with their organization:

  • Only $0.01 out of every dollar donated to UWCK pays United Way Worldwide membership dues
  • UW Worldwide CEO Compensation: $0.00013 per dollar donated to UWCK
  • UWCK CEO Salary for fundraising and management: $0.03 per dollar donated to UWCK. Our local CEO's salary is reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors and reported publicly on our financial documents.
  • Each dollar sent to United Way Worldwide retuns $12+ locally with programs like FamilyWize and My Smart Money that benefit our community and provides access to national fundraising relationships
  • UWCK adds over $20 in value to each dollar raised by leveraging in-kind donations, volunteer support, and grants

So what’s the difference between UW Worldwide and United Way of Central Kentucky? United Way Worldwide provides training, support, and fundraising relationships for local United Ways like UWCK. United Way of Central Kentucky, along with 1,800 independent United Ways across 41 counties, is a member of this network. UWCK pays a membership fee as a percentage of all funds raised each year. This provides training, branding, and strategic support for our small staff, but in addition United Way Worldwide negotiates relationships on our behalf with Fortune 500 Companies like Walmart, UPS, and other global brands that in turn allow us to raise funds on the local level. Those two companies alone raised over $60,000 for UWCK last year, which more than reimbursed our local community for our United Way Worldwide membership.

United Way is structured differently than many of the organizations on the above lists, so while we can't speak to how they all operate, we can share that per our audited financials last year, our overhead rate at United Way of Central Kentucky was 18%, meaning that 82 cents of every dollar goes into programs and services that create opportunities for local families to be successful. This rate is below the 25% and 35% guidelines established by the Better Business Bureau and IRS. In addition, UWCK is a member of the Better Business Bureau and has been vetted to meet all 20 standards of charitable accountability.  You can read the BBB’s findings about our organization at http://charityreports.bbb.org/louisville/human-services/united-way-of-central-kentucky-in-elizabethtown-ky-7113

So what should you do if you support UWCK and see these posts online?  Feel free to share a link to this blog post or give your personal experience with our work.  We don’t want to leave concerns unaddressed and hope you’ll connect others with our blog posts that detail our operations and Frequently Asked Questions page.  If there is anything we can do to help be better stewards of the trust our community deserves, please don't hesitate to contact us. Our CEO, Megan Stith, can be reached anytime at 270-737-6608 or at mstith@unitedwayck.org.  Thanks again for giving us the opportunity to provide a response to this important question!

We are grateful to have the type of open relationship with you- the people who make United Way of Central Kentucky possible- where you can freely share your questions and concerns.  Our goal is to help you make an informed decision regarding where to give your hard-earned dollars and valuable time.  We are humbled by the trust you have placed in us and continually strive to be the organization this incredible community deserves. That’s why we will be regularly answering your frequently asked questions to help you understand where your investment goes. You are welcome to explore the following questions we frequently encounter about our work anytime on our website.  We would love to hear questions directly from you!  Share what you’ve always wanted to know about UWCK through commenting on our Facebook page, sending a message through our website, or emailing us directly at mstith@unitedwayck.org.

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