United Way Reports $4.26 Billion Raised, Led By Seattle

September 26, 2013       Mark Hrywna      

United Way of King County remains just that — king of the United Way affiliates. For at least the fifth consecutive year, the Seattle, Wash.-based affiliate raised more in private support than any other United Way affiliate in the United States.

United Way Worldwide in Alexandria, Va., today released affiliate fundraising data for the 2012-2013 campaign. The top 10 affiliates in terms of overall fundraising last year were:

  • United Way of King County, Seattle, Wash., $112,124,083, up 9.3 percent from $102,608,092 in 2011;
  • United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, $97,971,532, down 1.7 percent from $99,619,375;
  • Greater Twin Cities United Way, Minneapolis, Minn., $92,676,843, up 2.4 percent from $91,211,996;
  • United Way of Greater Houston, $83,212,562, up 2.4 percent from 81,297,189;
  • United Way of Greater St. Louis, $79,047,082, down 5.7 percent, from $83,809,127;
  • United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, $70,118,059, up 8.7 percent, from $64,517,368;
  • United Way of Greater Los Angeles, $67,547,572, up 6.2 percent, from $63,620,675;
  • United Way of Greater Cincinnati, $63,888,413, down 3.1 percent from $65,934,696;
  • United Way of Central Indiana, Indianapolis, Ind., $59,628,593, up 12.4 percent from $53,061,279; and,
  • United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, $55.993,695, up 9.6 percent from $51,081,979.

United Way Worldwide reported total revenue of $4.26 billion last year, with the majority of it — approximately $3.926 billion — coming from private support.

Buoyed by an $85-million rebound in investment income and a 5 percent spike in government support, United Way Worldwide and its affiliates reported total revenue of $4.26 billion.

Private support was $3.926 billion, up 0.58 percent, or $22.7 million, from the $3.903 billion raised last year. Since 2009, it’s up about 2.18 percent in all, or about $84 million. United Way classifies non-governmental money as private.

It’s the third consecutive year that private support is up after two years of declines although it trails the early estimates of charitable giving in the United States last year (3.5 percent, 1.5 percent adjusted for inflation). Private support to United Ways last year was up 1.8 percent, or $69 million, from 2010 to 2011, after a bump of a half-percent in 2009.

Government support tallied $254.294 million, up 5 percent or $12.25 million from $242 million the previous year. Investment income rebounded from negative $6.1 million last year to nearly $80 million, accounting for nearly 2 percent of total revenue.

In-kind contributions, which include both donated products and services, totaled $211.014 million, again accounting for about 5 percent of overall revenue, but down about 3.5 percent, or $7.5 million from last year.

Total expenses grew by almost 3 percent, or $120 million, led by a 4.25 percent increase in program expenses of $150 million, and offset by a nearly 11-percent dip in administration expenses or $30 million. Program expenses continued to account for about 86 percent of total expenses and fundraising held at about 8 percent compared with about 6 percent for administration.

Of the 420 affiliates reporting at least $1 million in private support this past year, 216 reported decreases compared with 197 that reported increases (8 affiliates raised at least $1 million last year but less than $1 million the previous year). The median change in private support was a 0.3 percent decrease, from $2,051,716 to $2,045,898, by Foothills United Way in Boulder, Colo. The median private support raised was $2,948,954, by United Way of St. Joseph County in South Bend, Ind., which was down 13.8 percent from the previous year.

The five affiliates with the largest increase by percentage were:

  • United Way of Western Connecticut, Danbury, Conn., up 278 percent, from $4,408,607 to $16,677,951;
  • United Way of Monmouth County, Farmingdale, N.J., up 105 percent, $2,149,583 to $4,401,247;
  • United Way Blackhawk Region, Janesville, Wisc., up 98 percent, from $1,308,038 to $2,585,837;
  • United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region, Kalamazoo, Mich., up 52 percent, from $11,891,608 to $18,093,249
  • United Way State College, Pa., up more than 50 percent, from less than $1 million to $2,132,813.

Private support to the top two affiliates was in response to disasters both man-made and natural. United Way of Monmouth County saw a spike in support in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy, which made landfall on the Jersey Shore on Oct. 29, 2012 and devastated the region.

In response to the Dec. 14, 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, United Way of Western Connecticut established the Sandy Hook School Support Fund (SHSSF) to receive financial donations. SHSSF has raised $11.6 million and the United Way affiliate has not taken any administration fees. It has since been transferred to the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation. Some $7.7 million has been allocated to distribute to affected families, with the remaining funds to be determined by the community to address long-term needs.