Non-profit

United Way Worldwide

This is a logo for United Way of America. (link)
Website:

www.unitedway.org/%20

Location:

ALEXANDRIA, VA

Tax ID:

13-1635294

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $248,844,070
Expenses: $256,722,863
Assets: $77,794,373

Formation:

1887

Interim President and CEO:

Neeraj Mehta

Type:

Philanthropic Non-Profit

United Way Worldwide (UWW) is a philanthropic nonprofit that oversees over 1,800 local United Way groups. UWW and its affiliates are primarily devoted to providing education, healthcare, and income support for low-income individuals. Until 2016, UWW and its affiliates combined took in $5 billion, the most of any charitable federation in the world. [1]

Local United Way groups operate like franchises under UWW’s umbrella. Each local group pays membership dues to UWW, with the 1,200 or more groups based in the United States paying 1% of their annual charitable contributions. As of 2012, UWW also gets 20% of its contributions through corporate donations and 57% of its donations through payroll withholdings redirected to charity. Almost 25% of UWW’s revenues are redirected to other charities. [2]

UWW is largely apolitical, but sometimes supports policy positions ranging from left-of-center pro-welfare policies to tax cuts that benefit charitable donations and low-income families.

Advocacy

As a 501(c)(3), United Way Worldwide is prohibited from engaging in electoral politics but may devote a portion of its expenditures to policy advocacy. In 2019, UWW listed its policy goals as increasing spending for early learning programs like Head Start and the Child Care Development Block Grant, expanding charitable tax deductions, expansion of the earned income tax credit, preservation of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP or “food stamps”), and increasing funding for the Combined Federal Campaign (a government workplace provisions program). [3]

In 2017, then-UWW CEO Brian Gallagher met with President Donald Trump to discuss human trafficking. Gallagher later said in a public statement that he was willing to work with Trump on any relevant policy matters, regardless of the President’s “words” or “Tweets.” [4]

Sexual Harassment Allegations

From 2019-2020, three United Way Worldwide employees filed complaints with the U.S. Equal Employee Opportunity Commission (EEOC). All three alleged that they had been sexually harassed and that UWW had fired two in retaliation against internal complaints. The third employee was in the process of being fired when they contacted the EEOC. One of the accusers, vice president of labor participation Ana Avendano, also claimed that the AFL-CIO helped cover up the sexual harassment after she discovered abuse in their labor network. [5] [6]

In response, UWW appointed a third-party commissioner to investigate the matter, which ultimately found no evidence of wrongdoing. The three accusers stated that they were not contacted by the commissioner. Despite the investigator’s findings, UWW organized a “culture task force” to address “broader organizational and reputational issues.” [7] [8]

Brian Gallagher, who had been UWW’s CEO and president since 2003, resigned in February 2021 amidst the scandal. Gallagher claimed that his resignation was unrelated to the scandal, but he acknowledged that he moved up his retirement date because of it. [9]

Political Contributions

Since 1990, employees of United Way Worldwide have given $433,686 to political candidates. Donations have gone up considerably over the last three election cycles, peaking in 2020 at $147,490. In that cycle, presidential candidate Joe Biden (D-DE) was the largest recipient, followed by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). [10]

UWW employees have given primarily to Democrats in every election cycle over the last 20 years except 2014. In the last three election cycles, over 90% of donations have gone to Democrats. [11]

Permanent Supportive Housing in Los Angeles

In 2016, United Way Worldwide, the Corporation for Supportive Housing, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, and the Los Angeles city government under Mayor Eric Garcetti (D-Los Angeles) devised Measure HHH, which sought to issue $1.2 billion in bonds for Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) in Los Angeles. PSH is a group of policies that provide housing at no or very low cost to currently or formerly homeless individuals, along with a network of support services to assist with keeping and maintaining homes. UWW drafted the language for the measure and helped come up with the $1.2 billion figure. [12] [13]

UWW actively campaigned for Measure HHH with the support of labor groups and local left-of-center nonprofits. The LA County Federation of Labor supported the measure for the construction jobs it would bring. UWW received a lot of support from LA Voice, a left-of-center community organizing group. The political consulting group, SG&A Campaigns, was hired to do educational outreach. [14]

The measure passed with the support of 77.14% of voters. [15]

Measure HHH was intended to build 10,000 new housing units with $1.2 billion. In October 2019, the city of Los Angeles released an audit which found that the project was far behind schedule and needed to be scaled back. No units had been built, the projected number of units had fallen to 7,640, and almost 25% of the units would be downgraded to “affordable housing” rather than PSH housing. The project organizers originally projected that a single apartment building would cost $350,000-414,000, but raised the projection to $531,373, with the most expensive building projected at $700,000. The rising cost was almost entirely attributed to “soft costs” like consulting fees and permits. [16] As of February 2021, the project has constructed 361 homes with a projected goal of building more than 7,610 homes with the funds. [17] [18]

Shortly before the audit was released, United Way of Los Angeles, the local chapter of UWW, spent $1.5 million to hire an “HHH Concierge” to work for the city. The task of this position is to “streamline permitting processes and ensure that Proposition HHH-funded projects are prioritized within each department’s existing workflow.” [19] [20]

References

  1. “A philanthropic boom: “donor-advised funds”.” Economist. March 25, 2017. Accessed June 26, 2021. https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2017/03/23/a-philanthropic-boom-donor-advised-funds. ^
  2. Brown, Abram. “Forbes Picks 5 All-Star Charities: Top Rankings for Efficient Groups.” Forbes. November 8, 2012. Accessed June 26, 2021. https://www.forbes.com/sites/abrambrown/2012/11/08/charity-all-stars/?sh=e1600ad515ea. ^
  3. Taylor, Steve. “United Way’s Focus on Policy, Not Politics.” United Way. November 7, 2018. Accessed June 26, 2021. https://www.unitedway.org/blog/united-ways-focus-on-policy-not-politics. ^
  4. Draznin, Haley. “United Way CEO on Trump: Focus on policy, not personality.” CNN Business. April 13, 2017. Accessed June 26, 2021. https://money.cnn.com/2017/04/13/news/economy/united-way-gallagher/index.html. ^
  5. Parks, Dan. “Inquiry finds no ‘actionable’ sexual bias at United Way.” AP News. February 5, 2021. Accessed June 25, 2021. https://apnews.com/article/sexual-misconduct-us-news-discrimination-746d4d1d6848958d4954606fbcabb8a2. ^
  6. Dzhanova, Yelena. “United Way concluded it didn’t retaliate against women who alleged harassment, but 3 women who filed complaints said no one contacted them for the investigation.” Insider. February 3, 2021. Accessed June 25, 2021. https://www.businessinsider.com/united-way-investigation-did-not-contact-women-who-filed-complaints-2021-2. ^
  7. Parks, Dan. “Inquiry finds no ‘actionable’ sexual bias at United Way.” AP News. February 5, 2021. Accessed June 25, 2021. https://apnews.com/article/sexual-misconduct-us-news-discrimination-746d4d1d6848958d4954606fbcabb8a2. ^
  8. Dzhanova, Yelena. “United Way concluded it didn’t retaliate against women who alleged harassment, but 3 women who filed complaints said no one contacted them for the investigation.” Insider. February 3, 2021. Accessed June 25, 2021. https://www.businessinsider.com/united-way-investigation-did-not-contact-women-who-filed-complaints-2021-2. ^
  9. “United Way Worldwide CEO Gallagher Resigns Amid Turmoil.” VOA News. February 9, 2021. Accessed June 26, 2021. https://www.voanews.com/usa/united-way-worldwide-ceo-gallagher-resigns-amid-turmoil. ^
  10. “United Way.” Open Secrets. Accessed June 25, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/united-way/summary?toprecipcycle=2020&contribcycle=2020&lobcycle=2020&outspendcycle=2020&id=D000030637&topnumcycle=A. ^
  11. “United Way.” Open Secrets. Accessed June 25, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/united-way/summary?toprecipcycle=2020&contribcycle=2020&lobcycle=2020&outspendcycle=2020&id=D000030637&topnumcycle=A. ^
  12. “Prop HHH: A Victory for Compassion in Solving Homelessness.” United Way Worldwide. November 21, 2016. Accessed June 26, 2021. https://www.unitedway.org/blog/prop-hhh-a-victory-for-compassion-in-solving-homelessness. ^
  13. “Los Angeles Proposition HHH.” Local Housing Solutions. Accessed June 26, 2021. https://www.localhousingsolutions.org/housing-policy-case-studies/los-angeles-proposition-hhh/. ^
  14. “Los Angeles Proposition HHH.” Local Housing Solutions. Accessed June 26, 2021. https://www.localhousingsolutions.org/housing-policy-case-studies/los-angeles-proposition-hhh/. ^
  15. “Los Angeles, California, Homelessness Reduction and Prevention Housing, and Facilities Bond Issue, Measure HHH (November 2016).” Ballotpedia. Accessed June 26, 2021. https://ballotpedia.org/Los_Angeles,_California,_Homelessness_Reduction_and_Prevention_Housing,_and_Facilities_Bond_Issue,_Measure_HHH_(November_2016). ^
  16. “Three Years and Zero Housing Units Later, LA’s Auditor Looks At Prop HHH Money.” LAist. October 8, 2019. Accessed June 26, 2021. https://laist.com/news/prop-hhh-homeless-housing-audit. ^
  17. Tracking HHH.” LA Mayor. Accessed June 26, 2021. https://www.lamayor.org/HomelessnessTrackingHHH. ^
  18. France, Chandler. “Lack of urgency, coordination has sidelined Los Angeles’ HHH program.” USC Annenberg Media. February 12, 2021. Accessed June 26, 2021. https://www.uscannenbergmedia.com/2021/02/12/lack-of-urgency-coordination-has-sidelined-los-angeles-hhh-program/#:~:text=Permanent%20supportive%20housing%20combines%20affordable,for%20occupancy%2C%20totaling%20361%20units. ^
  19. “Cover Letter.” LA Controller. October 8, 2019. Accessed June 26, 2021. https://lacontroller.org/audits-and-reports/high-cost-of-homeless-housing-hhh/. ^
  20. “Tracking HHH.” LA Mayor. Accessed June 26, 2021. https://www.lamayor.org/HomelessnessTrackingHHH. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. A’shanti Gholar
    Former National Partner Manager

Supported Movements

  1. Vote Early Day
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: September 1, 1934

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2019 Dec Form 990 $248,844,070 $256,722,863 $77,794,373 $39,951,447 N $196,680,596 $50,266,404 $319,172 $5,017,619 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $218,704,476 $231,423,028 $81,279,500 $30,659,983 N $174,461,785 $45,350,847 $361,273 $4,396,377 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $175,832,756 $147,368,859 $101,946,852 $37,405,891 N $136,340,447 $38,026,838 $418,591 $3,948,386 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $109,280,056 $117,892,303 $76,590,363 $35,949,914 N $69,697,401 $38,176,898 $428,915 $4,317,166 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $99,225,880 $89,536,914 $84,376,101 $37,570,497 N $65,828,964 $32,210,330 $394,991 $4,277,222 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $89,307,915 $80,229,549 $75,976,031 $37,333,021 N $55,036,879 $32,111,080 $374,798 $4,519,035 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $78,671,627 $89,915,549 $66,619,645 $29,855,082 N $46,635,439 $32,219,501 $375,092 $2,821,366 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $96,098,760 $93,874,399 $82,287,642 $41,169,716 N $60,036,051 $31,601,651 $283,823 $3,937,247 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $94,222,249 $90,342,700 $103,190,645 $63,998,284 N $61,521,764 $31,624,127 $505,830 $3,668,402 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    United Way Worldwide

    701 NORTH FAIRFAX STREET
    ALEXANDRIA, VA 22314-2058