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.
That happened to me too in the 1980’s. We got bad reviews if we did not participate. Our CEO was named Man of the Year by United Way at a big banquet in NYC. All due to the contributions of 22,000 employees who were strong arm and threatened for 100% participation. Amazing this is coming out 30 years later.
The City also used to use the heavy handed tactic. You would get a donation form, pre-printed with all your information and a suggested donation amount already filled in for you. It had some hokey labels like “super giver” or some such.
A high ranker would prowl around and you had to return the form to that person in person and face the “scowl of disapproval.” You were actually threatened with sanctions if you did not turn your form back into the collection point.
Good points, both of those above. I remember when Ken Armstrong used to walk into the Democrap newsroom and try to Strong Arm us into giving. Bullhorn optional. On a reporter’s salary, seriously? A salary that went shorter with every passing year, before you were laid off? I mean, that schmo was making like $165K at that Ponzi scheme.
Very insulting it was, especially when done on deadline! And since Pat the Publisher was one of his bumblers, I mean bundlers, Mr. StrongArm got away with that harassment.
So I hope they choke on it.
Most of the government employees were coerced or felt pressured to give by their bosses who were trying to put a feather in their cap.
Now the uwbb has to earn it and has been doing a crappy job for years. The shoved down our throat walking dead crap show that is the “Kearney center “ proves it.
Or as it’s known by its other title “rics next girlfriends job”
made it worse to those of us in public sector jobs. I’ll never give them another penny I’ll continue to give directly to whom I want to give my money to.
State Agency’s used to contribute major money to the United Way.
Sadly the Florida Department of Management Services (DMS) killed it by getting their kick-back cronies in New Jersey involved. In less than 2 years they sucked all the money dry and had to shut the charity program down for a while to avoid getting caught dirty. It was so corrupt and dirty the Governor had to pretend he knew nothing about it.
Now when the agency’s ask for United Way donations that’s all they do – just one email – that’s all. No big time successful money raising events are held within the agency’s as before.
The rank and file workers all distrust the State now after all the DMS dirt. Very few are willing to give even one penny from the email request because they know it will process through those DMS dirt bags.