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.
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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