United Way Revenue Up 2.4 Percent In 2010

Total income for United Way grew by 2.4 percent last year, considerably slower than the 6.5 percent growth in revenue reported a year ago for 2009.

Overall revenue for United Way was up about $100 million, to $4.229 billion last year, according to figures released last week by the agency, headquartered in Alexandria, Va. Last year, total revenue was up 6.5 percent for United Way, from $3.873 billion in 2008 to $4.128 billion, about $255 million. Giving USA estimates released in June indicated that overall giving in the United States was up 3.8 percent in 2010.

Public support accounted for $3.858 billion of United Way’s overall revenue, up slightly from the reported $3.842 billion in 2009, but still off from the $4.023 billion in 2008. United Way is expected to release private contribution totals later this week from affiliates raising at least $1 million.

Government support and investment income continued to rise. Government support was up 13 percent, to $257 million from last year’s $228 million, which was up from $181 million in 2008. Investment income accounted for $114 million last year, almost double the $58 million reported in 2009.

Affinity groups grew at a rate of almost 12 percent, raising more than $200 million in 2010, led by the United Way Women’s Leadership Council, which saw 110-percent growth.

Bequests were up more than 27 percent, fueling a nearly 13-percent spike in the category of endowment/planned giving. Representing more than one-third of total giving to United Way, Leadership and Tocqueville/Major Gifts were up 1.5 percent. Membership to United Way’s Tocqueville Society is granted to donors who give at least $10,000 annually to a member affiliate.

United Way Worldwide reported total revenue of $5.19 billion, an increase around the globe of more than 3 percent.

Volunteer engagement increased 2.3 percent, with 2.63 million volunteers, up from 2.57 million in 2009, working with United Ways and its community partners. The number of hours contributed by volunteers increased almost 50 percent, from 8.3 million in 2009 to 12.3 million in 2010.