Real Quotes From Real Donors

Over the past 25 years we have interviewed thousands of local United Way donors. On every survey, we offer donors several opportunities to express their opinions about United Ways in a fill-in-the-blank question like “When you think of United Way of _____, what words come to mind?” or “Are there any suggestions or comments you would like to make about _____ United Way?”

The responses we have received to these types of questions could fill a book. Here are a couple of real responses, from real donors, about their local United Way:

“I make my contribution to United Way and then it goes POOF!”

“____ United Way is adequate, but I would prefer stunning”

“Headed down a road to oblivion”

“Inflated corporate nonprofit using their political clout to force companies into submission”

“Take care of things, except for the roads”

“Want to make you contribute, and not in a good way”

“Don’t hear much until there is a disaster”

“I’m not sure that United Ways are not obsolete”

“Mammoth effort to provide for every social ill”

“They cater to mostly prestigious citizens of the community and kind of ignore us less important people”

“It's hard for United Way to give me a better experience than God gives me”

“I do not need a free lunch, car, or airplane. I just want to help.”

“Big business with administration leaders making big money”

Some of these comments probably made you laugh, others probably made you wonder why these donors even supported United Way in the first place. I’ll conclude with this comment from a donor which everyone should keep in mind – post it on your bulletin board:

“Thank you for your recent survey regarding the United Way. I am hard pressed to complete this survey because I don’t know how to answer the questions. In reading through the questionnaire, I realize I don’t know anything about what the United Way does. I never hear anything about how the money was spent, whom it was spent on, or to what benefit my donation made to the community. In fact, after I send in my check, I never hear anything from the United Way until they want money again. I’m beginning to realize that this doesn’t make any sense. I’m not sure why I am giving money except on the reputation of the United Way. Maybe this needs to be reconsidered.”