You may have seen an article in the Tennessean earlier this week that reported some charitable agencies were upset because they were not funded this funding cycle by United Way and some were upset that were notified they were not being funded by email (link). United Way has shifted their funding focus this funding cycle and some agencies that had been getting a lot of funding now are getting very little funding, some new agencies that had previously not been funded are funded, and some agencies that were funded are now not funded.
According to the Tennessean, Nashville CARES which serves Middle Tennesseans infected by AIDS had its funding reduced from $74,000 to just under $19,700. Second Harvest Food Bank had its funding reduced by about half and will receive about $62,000. New agencies include Safe Haven Family Shelter, Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee, and Faith Family Medical Clinic.
The article did not report it but I went to the United Way website and am pleased to see that two particular agencies will not be funded this cycle: Planned Parenthood and The Neighborhood Resource Center. Funding cycles are for a six year period so for at least the next six years, they will not receive united way funding.
Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in America and is a pro-choice advocacy group. Now United Way claims they really do not fund agencies, but they fund programs and that the funding Planned Parenthood received went to fund something other than abortions. I have worked for non-profits. Things are not as tidy as that. The same person who answers the phone to schedule breast exam appointments or birth control pill appointments also, most likely, schedules abortion appointments. Program funding helps keep the lights on and the building clean. One cannot fund a program without funding the overhead. One cannot fund Planned Parenthood without supporting abortion.
The Neighborhood Resource Center does some things I actually like and somethings I don't, but they are primarily a community organizing group. Their work is political, not charitable. They empower neighborhood activist and educate them about how to exert power and influence policy. There is nothing wrong with that, but NRC does not need to be in the mix that also funds homeless shelters and food banks and charitable health clinics.
Some years ago, I was active in United Way and successfully wrote grants for the agency I worked for. I know United Way does a lot of good, but I was not comfortable contributing to United Way when they fund Planned Parenthood and political activism.
Most of my giving is to conservative political activity. I think providing funding to elect people who will vote against the drift toward socialism and bigger and bigger government, funding research and education organizations that provide the arguments to resist the drift toward socialism, and funding conservative advocacy groups that are working to promote free enterprise and fidelity to the Constitution and protection of our liberties is as important as feeding the hungry or sheltering the homeless. I do not think there is a more important cause to support than the cause of freedom.
I also give some money to the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation because I like the work they do in protecting waterfalls and beautiful vistas and other natural treasures. I also give to the Alzheimer Association, since my wife suffers from this disease and fighting Alzheimer's is personal with me. I also give a little here and there to other causes such as the Salvation Army and Union Mission and some others and I occasionally personally help people in need. Now that United Way is not funding the agencies that I find objectionable, I may support the United Way.