Our fundraising and administrative costs increased after holding steady for five years because of the disruption to the non-profit sector, and we are responding to the changes that go along with that. We are working hard to contain costs and leveraging efficiencies, while maintaining and increasing access to vital community services.
The non-profit sector, including United Way, is experiencing significant disruption as online giving evolves, philanthropic trends change, and demographics shift. While these changes have impacted donations to charities, the demand for social services is increasing. People who once donated to local organizations are now relying on their services. This already constrained environment has been exacerbated with the economic impact of COVID-19, high unemployment rates, and ongoing economic turbulence.
While United Way has not been immune from this disruption, we have chosen to lean in and embrace new technologies, new ways of innovating, and new ways of working. To adapt and keep pace with consumer demand and expectations, United Way is strategically investing in social and digital innovation opportunities—which will enable United Way to further support the social sector in the future. It is important to note that funds which support agency program investments are NOT being used to support our digital transformation.
United Way has been able to keep fundraising and administration costs relatively flat and continue significant investments into the community during this time by drawing on reserves.
United Way continues to have one of the lowest fundraising costs among charitable organizations.