We’re #1! United Way Ranks High Nationally, Locally

United Way supporters from our region gathered recently to show their commitment for UWBCKR's work with the homeless. Here they are holding up signs purchased from homeless people to acknowledge the humanity shared by all people. This event featured Willie Baronet from the organization We Are All Homeless. Impact work such as its homeless programs and partnerships earned United Way high approval ratings from donors in recent surveys.

Trust and impact prompt partnerships that change a society—and a community.

United Way reflects that partnership on two important fronts.

First, on a national scale: The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently named United Way Worldwide to the top spot of America’s Favorite Charities. These are 100 cause-driven nonprofit organizations that Americans are most willing to support financially.

The top five organizations in the Chronicle’s ranking are the Mayo Clinic, Harvard University, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Salvation Army, and United Way in the number-one spot.

The Chronicle said its top-100 ranking, which is based on cash support, “provides insights into the trends affecting donations by individuals from all walks of life and the growing importance of foundation gifts to charities. It also offers a more detailed financial picture of the organizations that are the best at fundraising.”

Second, on a local scale: United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region completed a community donor survey that saw the organization grow in trust and impact.

The survey, conducted by Perspectives Consulting, saw more than 6 in 10 local respondents say they support United Way because they trust us and because they can make an impact through United Way. Both measures were up over a survey done in 2014. Ninety-five percent of donors said they rate United Way “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable.” Also increasing slightly over 2014:
• 79% said United Way meets their expectations for using their charitable gifts.
• 75.1% said United Way meets expectations for communicating impact.
• 76.8% said United Way thanks them appropriately.

Chris Sargent, President and CEO of United Way BCKR, said the local donor survey also pointed out some important to-do’s: do better in engaging younger donors to balance support that tends to come from near-retirement age groups; build a broader, more balanced range of dollar support; and strengthen communication of impact so even more donors know their dollars are changing lives.

“Seeing United Way rate highly among donors is cause for celebration, and it’s also a call to action,” Sargent said. “Donors can give to any number of charitable organizations. It’s on us to show them that their best investment to make an impact is through United Way. That’s why we’ll continue to forge strong, diverse partnerships, gather resources and deliver on our promises.”