Rob Renzi, the CEO of Big Bend Cares and Care Point, believes that the United Way “has lost their way.”
Renzi, who is a Leadership Giving Donor to United Way, in comments submitted to Tallahassee Reports, said he believes “the stand-alone United Way process of funding community programs is riddled with flaws, questionable practices, unjustified decisions, and a lack of transparency. These issues should be brought forward, discussed openly and resolved before I or anyone is asked to donate to United Way again.”
Renzi believes that the United Way “lost their way” after leaving the Community Human Services Partnership which was the process used to distribute city and county to funds for human services.
Renzi doubts that the community is aware that a number of the certified agency partners suffered cuts this year.
Renzi said that some of the more severe cuts were the Kearney Center – $60,000 cut, Neighborhood Medical – $20,000 cut, Epilepsy Association – $11,000 cut, Boys’ Choir, took a $30,000 cut and Turn About Counseling a $40,000 cut.
Also, Renzi criticized the United Way’s process of dealing with the agencies.
“Last week the agencies were sent a meeting schedule to discuss this process, only to have those meetings “refocused” on communication and technology and to be told no United Way staff will even be present. How can the major issues in the process, and transparency be resolved without any discussion,” asked Renzi.
Renzi feels that donors are treated differently than other employers.
“Our questions go unanswered. Our concerns about where our dollars are distributed seem less important than those of the business community,” said Renzi.