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United Way apologist

As a former local United Way employee, I'll say you're partially right and off on a major point. You're right about the United Way's shift to community impact funding and the what it means.

You're wrong on the United Way being the non-governmental social safety net. That is what they are shifting away from - primarily because it's not a very good pitch in these days. In short, community impact will mean more targeted funding and less entitlement funding to organizations like Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and the Ys.

As for Arc, it doesn't appear to provide services other than advocacy and public awareness/education. If an organization helping the disabled can't sustain itself w/o UWay funding, perhaps it's not viable and/or needs a good shaking up. (And I'd argue that asking help for DD and otherwise disabled adults is popular and effective. I always mentioned it in my pitches.) Perhaps the organization's inability to raise funds for itself was a factor and a legit. factor to consider. If an organization will go under because it loses $8k, it's not very healthy. The United Way propping it up forever isn't realistic.

I won't disagree with the notion of funding less popular causes, but it's much easier to seek funding for and to fund childhood initiatives.

The bigger issue for this United Way is the 26% admin and fundraising cut. That's pretty high.

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Tierney says that larger scale organizations would have access to other resources, which I suspect means that they pay for consulting services from Bain at the going rate. Bridgespan's Form 990 reports that the company operates with consultants borrowed from Bain & Company, which continues to pay their salaries while on loan.

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