[May 23, 2016] One of my goals here at theLeaderMaker.com blog is to highlight successful organizations through their core values. I like to show that core values are an integral part of doing good things for all people. In the case of The United Way, despite their tremendous fundraising success, the organization has not always lived up to their core values.
The United Way of America is the largest nonprofit organization in America based on fundraising income. With almost 1,200 local United Way offices throughout the country, its leadership desires to make measurable changes in communities through partnerships with schools, government agencies, businesses, etc. The issues United Way offices focus on are determined locally because communities differ.1
Here is the United Way of America list of their core values2:
- Impact: Accountable for our work and sustainable results, collaborating efforts to make a difference in our community.
- Inclusion: Honor and embrace the diversity of our backgrounds, talents, and ideas.
- Innovation: Welcome change and commit to continuous improvement to drive positive change in everything we do.
- Integrity: Actions and communications are always fair, accurate, direct, honest and transparent.
- Leadership: Successful convener and collaborator, bringing together and working with the community to accomplish common goals.
Any business that excludes any part of the local community, we can argue, would be in violation of several of these core values. And that is exactly what happened with many United Way affiliates. One controversy involved the United Way pulling its funding from local Boy Scout organizations because the Boy Scouts banned atheists, agnostics, and “avowed homosexuals” from holding leadership positions.
In doing so, the United Way was early in jumping into liberal politics and violated their core values of inclusion, integrity, and leadership. Nevertheless, the success of the United Way speaks for itself. Ethically however the organizational leadership has tread where real leaders would never go.3
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- Special note that Communist, fascist, and Islamic nations often ban the Boy Scouts and many international non-profit organizations.