United Way recognizes that fundraising success depends on how much prospective donors know and understand the organizations seeking support. Fundraising should always be conducted in a voluntary manner; coercion creates animosity, hinders communication and understanding thus leading to decreased support.
United Way is concerned about the use of undue pressure in fundraising and opposes any type of coercion. Any semblance of pressure—whether real, implied or perceived—is contradictory to the operating standards of United Way. United Way continually tries to prevent the use of coercion in their campaigns by encouraging peer solicitation. In addition, United Way conducts training programs that stress information and education for fundraising volunteers so they are knowledgeable about appropriate methods of encouraging participation without coercion.
To demonstrate their conviction about this policy, United Way of America’s Board of Governors adopted the following policy statement:
The Board of Governors of United Way of America believes that the most responsive contributors are those who have the opportunity to become informed and involved. A well-planned campaign with an effective communications program, conducted by committed volunteers, will ensure responsive contributors. While we have always been unalterably opposed to coercion, we do recognize a responsibility to state our beliefs formally, as freedom of choice is a basic tenet of our democratic society.
Giving is a personal matter and decision; no form of coercion is acceptable to United Way.