United Way Dumped by Numerous Nonprofits

Competitor attracts with lower overhead costs, few restrictions

Twenty-one of the area's leading charities have left the United Way to create a new way for workers to donate to charity: Community1st - America's Charities of Greater Washington, D.C. 

The nonprofits, which include the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic, WETA public television, and the Whitman-Walker Clinic, cited a steady drop in workplace giving in the region and a continuing lack of trust in the United Way, due to an financial mismanagement scandal that sent its former CEO to prison in 2004. 

They said they were attracted to the new group because of “lower overhead costs, easily customized fundraising campaigns and fewer restrictions on where donors’ money is directed,” according to The Washington Post

Another key point for some of those who left the United Way is that America's Charities passes on 98 percent of each donation to its nonprofit groups.  

The United Way, meanwhile, keeps 10 percent of most donations to its member nonprofit groups and smaller donations go to a community fund.   

About 35 percent of D.C. companies’ worker contribution campaigns are run through America’s Charities, which will oversee the new alliance. 

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