Trident United Way, Inc.
April 14, 2011
I think most donors do not realize how much of the money TUW receives stays inside their doors - with paid "consultants" who go out into the field and demand that programs conform to the model TUW has decided fits our community - with total disregard for whether it does or not. THis is a one-size-fits-all model that is a lot like giving a size 5 garmet to a person who wears a 20 and then blaming them for not being able to wear it. When the program has enough clout in the community to stand up to TUW - like the Boy Scouts...they can get funding. However, small programs who serve some of the neediest clients are going to get silently turned away. When a TUW board member wants a job - TUW makes sure they get it - this happened with the Boys & Girls Club directorship. They TUW tried to force all afterschool providers to purchase and use B&G Club materials...BUT when that individual left Boys & Girls, the organization funding was cut off...not because the program changed, but the political ties no longer held. I think TUW has moved a great distance away from what people think they are paying for...and they are no longer responding to community needs - but they are telling the community what it needs - and they play favorites. I, personally, hope a Community Chest or other collaborative funder arises in our community so TUW has competition for donor dollars and they have to start listening to every voice in the community.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
Over many years, in many ways. I have watched them change from a community support to a Bureaucratic organization...hiding behind jargon and selective statistics...and I am sad. They will get lots of + comments from people who get their funding - because if they don't TUW will cut future funding. The current administration wants to build an empire - not a community.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Get rid of the entire administrative level staff, create a board that encompasses all members of the community, remember that new needs arise every day and the old opportunity grants were critical in helping important agencies get established. On paper, this organization looks like most donations go to services - but in fact a huge chunk stays inside TUW - to pay for people on their staff who do not provide services to the community but who tell the community how TUW wants services to look.
General Member of the Public & I have provided probono consultation for a lot of small non-profits.
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