Feb 9, 2016

Sacred Cows


Yesterday's post(in 2008) questioning the expanded mission of a popular local charity drew only one reaction from a indignant reader, I thought there would be more. Alfonso Todd, local activist, actually complimented the concept of applying diligence to our giving. About twenty years ago I formally opposed a Habitat For Humanity Project. Their plan for three new houses would have blocked the side window in a property I managed, denying my dwelling both light and air. Habitat's plan was endorsed by the City, The Redevelopment Authority and defended by the city solicitor. After the hearing, at which I prevailed, Habitats Regional Director came up to apologize to me. Seems they went with their standard straight wall plan to save time and money, even though everyone knew blocking a neighbors window was improper. He told me they were such a sacred cow that nobody had ever opposed them before.
reprinted from May of 2008 

ADDENDUM February 2016: People and corporations love sacred cows and united funds, it makes our charity giving so much easier, and makes us feel better about ourselves. Three recipients of the United Way of Lehigh Valley are CACLV, Lehigh Council of Churches and Wildlands Conservancy. All three are well established sacred cows in their own right, and receive many direct contributions. So, if you're inclined to tear down a picturesque dam, or put a homeless person out into a snowstorm, now you know how to fund it.

12 comments:

Jamie Kelton said...

Mr Molovinsky

My husband and I have not contributed to the United Way for at least 20 years, probably longer. The United Way shakes down companies for donations to achieve their "100%" participation and the executives are paid lavishly for their charitable work.

Money given to charities is supposed to go to the needy, not those who need to maintain their lifestyle. We donate directly to organizations we believe are helpful, such as disabled veterans.

Anonymous said...

Jamie 6:41am
The newly formed Regional Veterans Center, which is comprised in part of The Keystone Warriors, Logan's Heroes P.A.W.S. Program, and The Veterans Brotherhood, all Thank You for your support of our Disabled U.S. Military Veterans
"The Old Allentown Curmudgeon" Paul Fiske (retired Disabled Veteran)

Rich Fegley said...

Corruption. They are all corrupt to the core. Shame in all of them.

Maybe the FBI RICO investigation will remove the scum from these organizations. If they are good and have a heart, I would like to see it.

michael molovinsky said...

even with good causes, it becomes annoying to give; about a decade ago i received a solicitation from smile train, which said that if i donate, they would never ask me again. well, they did ask again, and as the years progressed, so did their requests. one a year, two a year, to every several months. the last couple years they added telephone solicitations. same experience with MS Foundation, the larger contribution and more often you give, the more often they ask.

Anonymous said...

I'm not stunned. They all sit on the same boards. Cross pollination if you will.

The United Way is another example of a Lehigh Valley organization that is too big, too corporate. More vice presidents and middle management than a 1960s bank. It's not about the programs, it's all about the money.




Anonymous said...

More jobs for the unemployable, fat salaries, cars, gym memberships, country club memberships all sold to the citizens that it will benefit the poor, also downright intimidation by the unions to force weekly contributions out of their paycheck. Best to keep your charity between you , god, and those in need.

Guy Williams said...

I guess its just gonna take a change in our politics where the lines are drawn. The far left and far right are just gonna have to organize their own political parties. And believe me their is grey areas and hypocracy on all fronts. Just the other day i heard an interesting conversation on the merits of socialistic democracy. As a moderate i dont agree with many issues promoted by the left wing Democrats but find it interesting the negative passion directed at corporate salaries with nary a peep at the money raked in by entertainment superstars. When was the last time anyone paid 10 bucks to see anyone of our famous rock stars.Then on the other hand where would we be if everything is free. Free health care, free college, free housing,free food. Lines will have to be drawn and rules will have to be followed to conduct a fair and equal society. In the mean time God bless all this mishigos

George Ruth said...

I stopped giving to United Way many years ago. My reasoning was simple: between federal, state and local taxes, plus fees, tolls, etc. I pay more than 50% of my family income. Much of that goes for 'social programs', and much of that for direct payments to others who contribute virtually nothing to our society except more mouths for 'us' to feed. Sounds harsh, yes. I understand that. But for me to give more of my hard-earned money for boys and girls clubs, and other service organizations which are doing what families used to do. When I played little league or other organizations my parents paid fees.
In addition I have grown resentful of how many in the social services 'industry', including the public school system, treat those of us who have our kids participate in CYO and other religious-oriented activities. No United Way subsidies for us. We just pay out of our pockets or through the good graces of parishes and the Bishop's Annual Appeal.

Anonymous said...

About 30 years ago I was on the board of a local not for profit serving women and children. The organization was a United Way agency and received considerable funds from United Way. As such, it was permitted to raise funds directly only in a short window of 2 months of the year. I contributed to United Way and as a board member I also made financial donations to the agency. In the intervening years things changed and the agencies no longer could count on receiving a substantial amount of their support from United Way so they now solicit funds directly, throughout the year. Many United Way contributors "designate" their dollars to certain agencies but what I learned is that the amount that gets forwarded to the agencies is reduced by some % for administrative fees. Now I understand that nothing is free and it costs money to handle the processing. I used to think that contributing to United Way was a way to support all the worthwhile local non profits, but if I am being asked to support them directly because the United Way support is only meeting a small portion of their funding needs and giving to United Way the whole concept of "United Way" is being eroded.

Anonymous said...

We should pound the non profits from sunup to sunup. Their bloated salaries ,perks, once again all their bullshit award ceremonies,dinners,lunches mixers. They're all the same swells, Any chicken shit charity has a CEO, executive directors, staff. Again we the taxpayers pay for their existence The churches funnel the needy into our cities,set them up with all the welfare programs, give them a box of food and we have to pay for them. Think what a family with five children in school costs us .Just school is 71000 /yr. Welfare is another 50000 or more. Somebody prove me wrong!,

anon said...

Throwback post... very nice... I am so terrified of non profits, I try to avoid giving to them unless I am personally involvd in them.

Gina B.

Anonymous said...

MM, I gave up on non-profits a while ago. I noticed non-profits in Allentown were why we actually have a limited paying tax base. Also, they are cliquish, biased and confusing with their community assistance and information, and as a whole, you find once the "funding" runs dry, so does the program, but guess what? The problem still exists.

The private sector is more than willing to help those in need but most have no idea how and when the money is used nor do most care...

Gotta be a better way...


Alfonso Todd