Financial Stewardship: Fiscal Year 2016-2017
We are committed to ensuring that your gift is invested in the most effective way possible.
Our operating budget is audited by an independent accounting firm and is carefully reviewed by the members of the United Way Finance and Audit Committee and Board of Directors.
Through our Community Investment Fund, anyone has the opportunity to make an impact on many people’s lives and our community as a whole through a single donation. All financial gifts to the Community Investment Fund, ie. undesignated gifts, stay here in Kent County and are invested into reducing poverty and social inequities through community-wide issues like affordable housing, food security, violence prevention, workforce development, and education. With an emphasis on accountability, we vet and review all funded programs in the areas on quality programming, finance, and administration to make sure that your gift is invested in the most effective and efficient way possible.
We understand that donors are looking to make sound giving decisions and, therefore, we have earned the highest ratings from both the Better Business Bureau and Guide Star.
In addition to our annual fundraising campaign, we seek and earn funding from other sources. Examples include grants for internal programs like our 2-1-1 health and human service hotline, earnings from investments and endowment assets, fees for facility services rendered and rental income from office space at the United Way Center. These additional funding sources, along with campaign dollars, form the organization’s operating budget.
For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, Heart of West Michigan United Way’s fundraising and administrative costs were 11.5 percent. That is below the national average for nonprofits, which is 17 percent. This percentage represents that portion of annual campaign dollars that we spend on administration (building, staff, etc.) and fundraising costs for the next year's campaign (materials, print, advertisements, etc.). We also helps hundreds of other nonprofits maintain low overhead rates by providing them with volunteers and facilities management services.
All agencies and programs requesting United Way funding undergo careful, regular and in-depth financial review by experienced and trained volunteers and professional staff who review audited statements and budget documents. Agencies must report annually about the impact of their programs and services. In addition, all United Way funded agencies must be registered 501(c) 3 agencies, and must abide by the U.S. charitable laws.
For more finance information, contact our Finance Department at (616) 459-6281.