Accountability

United Way of Essex and West Hudson is focused on transparency, accountability, and results. Our commitment to donors is to share all information about our organization freely and openly.

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

On September 22, 1995, The United Way of Essex and West Hudson Board of Trustees adopted an anti-discrimination policy as a component of its annual allocations process.

The policy was incorporated into the funding application packet sent to grant seekers as well as in the Memorandum of Agreement which is signed by each lead agency and its collaboration partners when they are selected to receive United Way funding.

The policy states that the recipient agencies will not “advocate, support or practice discrimination based on race, creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, veteran status, national origin, age or physical handicap”.

This policy does not prohibit any agency from operating specific programs based on age, gender, health, disability, or other characteristics designed to meet the specific needs of targeted populations. However, the program must be open to all people in those targeted areas.

UNITED WAY REQUIREMENTS

Be tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code as well as from corresponding provisions of other applicable state, local or foreign laws or regulations. United Ways must file IRS Form 990 annually in a timely manner. Large United Ways will submit their entire IRS Form 990 to United Way of America annually.

Comply with all other applicable legal local, state, and federal operating and reporting requirements (e.g., nondiscrimination, Sarbanes-Oxley Act, USA Patriot Act).

Have an active, responsible, and voluntary governing body, which ensures effective governance over the policies and financial resources of the organization.

Adhere to a locally developed and adopted statement to ensure volunteers and staff broadly reflect the diversity of the community they serve.

Represent itself as a United Way in accordance with all United Way of America trademark standards and requirements.

Support the United Way system by providing financial support to United Way of America according to the membership investment formula.

Adhere to a locally developed and adopted code of ethics for volunteers and staff which includes provisions for ethical management, publicity, fundraising practices and full and fair disclosure. All large United Ways will submit a copy of their code of ethics to United Way of America.

Undergo an annual audit conducted by an independent certified public accountant whose examination complies with generally accepted auditing standards and GAAP. United Ways with annual revenue totaling less than $100,000 may have their financial statements reviewed by an independent accountant. Large United Ways will submit their audited financial statements to United Way of America annually.

Conduct every three years a volunteer-led self-assessment of their community impact work, financial management, and organizational governance and decision making.

Annually submit to United Way of America a report of the total resources generated (annual fundraising campaign plus other resources such as in-kind donations and proceeds from special events). This report must be completed according to a policy that ensures an accurate, unduplicated national accounting for the United Way system.

Biennially submit to United Way of America a report on United Way income and expenses.

If managing donor designated gifts, the fees charged, if any, will be based on actual expenses. If receiving designated gifts from another United Way organization, will not deduct fundraising or processing fees.

STANDARDS OF EXCELLENCE

In March 2005, United Way of America unveiled new Standards of Excellence, a comprehensive description of benchmark standards and best practices. Developed in conjunction United Way executives, staff and volunteers throughout the country, the standards are designed to enhance the effectiveness of the 1,350 United Way affiliates.

Spanning more than 100 pages, the new standards provide highly detailed descriptions regarding five key areas of operation:

Community Engagement and Vision – Working with formal and informal leaders to develop a shared vision and goals for a community, including the identification of priority issues affecting the overall well being of its citizens.

Impact Strategies, Resources and Results – Creating “impact strategies” that address the root causes and barriers of a community’s priority issues; mobilizing essential assets such as people, knowledge, relationships, technology and money; effectively implementing impact strategies; and evaluating the effectiveness of impact strategies in fostering continuous improvement.

Relationship Building and Brand Management – Developing, maintaining and growing relationships with individuals and organizations in order to attract and sustain essential assets.

Organizational Leadership and Governance – Garnering trust, legitimacy and support of the United Way in local communities through leadership and overall management.

Operations – Providing efficient and cost-effective systems, policies and processes that enable the fulfillment of the United Way’s mission, while ensuring the highest levels of transparency and accountability.