Ada Regional United Way board members say the organization’s rule concerning limiting solicitation of funds by member agencies is nothing new. It has been on the books for a long time. What’s different is the fact that large business donors have asked the local United Way to enforce it.

Anyone who operates a business is well familiar with frequent requests for funds from many worthy agencies or causes. It is understandable to us how large businesses, those who are approached most often, have grown weary of these requests and seek relief, particularly since they give so much to the general United Way fund which supports a goodly portion of each member agency’s operating budget.

On the other hand, the rule does not prohibit any business from voluntarily giving to any agency or cause it chooses. What it seeks to curtail is United Way member agencies directly approaching businesses multiple times a year with funding requests.

Also exempted from this rule are member agencies selling products, such as the Boy Scouts, who sell massive amounts of popcorn each year.

At least one agency is reviewing its situation to determine whether or not it will remain under the Ada Regional United Way umbrella or opt to go it alone. Other member agencies may decide the same, depending on how much of their operating budgets rely on United Way funds. This is their prerogative.

Some have taken issue with the local United Way board bowing to this request by large donors to limit solicitations. But taking issue with the decision is easier, it seems to us, from the outside looking in than it is from the inside looking out.

Therefore, while it is the prerogative of member agencies to drop out, it is also the prerogative of the United Way to enforce its rule.

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