Buffalo’s United Way Stops Charging Fees on Donor-Designated Contributions

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August 15, 2011; Source: The Buffalo News | The United Way of Buffalo and Erie County has decided that it will stop charging a 13 percent processing fee on all contributions designated by the donor for a specific charity. The United Way had been charging the fee since deciding to handle donor-designated funds in 1984. Originally set at 9 percent, the fee was raised five years ago and apparently this was not sitting well with local affiliates. In total, the elimination of the fee will free up an additional $220,000 for local charities this year.

We are interested—are other United Ways changing their fee structures, and if so, is this another indication that the business model of the United Way is undergoing a significant, though iterative shift?—Ruth McCambridge