United Way is committed to using donations effectively and wisely. We are industry leaders in maintaining a low overhead ratio and are recognized by independent organizations for our financial accountability and transparency.
Our fiscal efficiency
Charity evaluators recommend operating cost ratios between 17.5 and 35 percent. We finished our 2014 fiscal year with an operating cost ratio of 17.3 percent. Administrative cost for management and general operations was 6.9 percent. Our fundraising expense was 10.4 percent, which covered fundraising in the entire four-county region and helped more than 550 businesses and organizations (at more than 700 branches/locations) run employee-giving campaigns.
Thanks to the support of our Cornerstone Partners and other donors, our fundraising and administrative costs are covered. That means individual donations go directly to the work on the ground.
Charity Navigator, one of the nation's top independent charity evaluators, has given us its highest rating of four stars for four years in a row. The rating reflects that we use funds efficiently and share sufficient information with donors and the public. Only 7 percent of organizations rated by Charity Navigator receive four-star ratings for four consecutive years.
We are also recognized by GuideStar at the Gold level for our commitment to transparency and open sharing of impact and effectiveness information, financial statements, annual reports, and details about projects and leadership. Out of the 38,699 nonprofits that participate in the GuideStar exchange, only 3,947 (10 percent) have achieved the Gold level.
The Better Business Bureau Charity Seal means that United Way has been extensively evaluated by the BBB and passed its standards for spending funds prudently, sharing information transparently, measuring the organization's effectiveness and following good governance standards. This award demonstrates United Way’s overall commitment to ethical practices.
United Way Worldwide
We're a member of United Way Worldwide and have completed all membership requirements.