Better Business Bureau Report for
United Way of Greater Cleveland

Better Business Bureau Report issued February 2016
Better Business Bureau Report expires February 2017

Does not meet one or more standards
This charity does not meet one or more of the 20 standards for Charity Accountability. Find out more...

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Charity Contact Information

Name: United Way of Greater Cleveland
Address: 1331 Euclid Ave.
  Cleveland, OH 44115-1854
Phone: 216-436-2100
Web Address:
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Formerly known as:United Way Services

Year, State Incorporated: 1943, Ohio
Affiliates: United Way of Geauga County, and 1 chapters
Stated Purpose: "exists to address health and human service needs through convening partnerships, funding programs, generating resources and advocating for public policy to support our community's priorities."

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Evaluation Conclusions


United Way of Greater Cleveland (UWGC) does not meet the following 2 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Standard 3: Frequency and Attendance of Board Meetings - An organization shall have a minimum of three evenly spaced meetings per year of the full governing body with a majority in attendance, with face-to-face participation. A conference call of the full board can substitute for one of the three meetings of the governing body. For all meetings, alternative modes of participation are acceptable for those with physical disabilities.

The charity does not meet this Standard because: 

  • Average board meeting attendance was below 50%. 

Standard 18: Privacy for Written Appeals & Internet Privacy - Address privacy concerns of donors by (a) providing in written appeals, at least annually, a means (e.g., such as a check off box) for both new and continuing donors to inform the charity if they do not want their name and address shared outside the organization, (b) providing a clear, prominent and easily accessible privacy policy on any of its websites that tells visitors (i) what information, if any, is being collected about them by the charity and how this information will be used, (ii) how to contact the charity to review personal information collected and request corrections, (iii) how to inform the charity (e.g., a check off box) that the visitor does not wish his/her personal information to be shared outside the organization, and (iv) what security measures the charity has in place to protect personal information.

The charity does not meet this Standard because:

  • Its online privacy policy does not include a way to contact the charity to review personal information collected or request changes. 
United Way of Greater Cleveland (UWGC) meets the remaining 18 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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How Your Contributions Are Invested In Our Community Education Programs -- $4,298,731 Preparing children to enter and graduate from school. Income (financial stability) Programs -- $4,673,280 Working with families to earn income sufficient to meet current financial obligations, live in safe and affordable permanent housing, and acquire some savings or assets. Health Programs -- $4,159,332 Helping families and individuals improve their health and wellness through access to health care, early detection and treatment, and preventive services. Organizational Capacity Building -- $231,073 Federated Agencies -- $3,892,730 Includes Catholic Charities Health and Human Services, Jewish Federation of Cleveland and United Black Fund. Various grants, Special Projects and United Way 211 -- $3,885,894 Other Agency Support - $12,421,128

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015, UWGC's program expenses were:

Allocations and grants 20,427,709
Educational development 2,771,478
Planning and agency relations 2,336,662
Total Program Expenses: $25,535,849
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Chief Executive : Simon Bisson, Interim President

Chair of the Board: Richard J. Buoncore
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Managing Partner, MAI Wealth Advisors, LLC

Board Size: 66

Paid Staff Size: 151

*Compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.
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Fund Raising


Method(s) Used:

direct mail, telephone, invitations to fund raising events, print advertisements, television, radio, grant proposals, internet, planned giving arrangements
Fund raising costs were 11% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $30,436,935, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.)
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Tax Status


This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.
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The following information is based on UWGC's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015.

Source of Funds  
Contributions 30,436,935
Program fees 2,012,109
Realized investment gains 1,317,283
Interest and dividend income 562,424
Rental Income 87,149
Unrealized investment losses -1,008,957
Total Income $33,406,943


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 75%  Fund Raising: 10%  Administrative: 13%  Other Expenses: 2%

Total income $33,406,943
Program expenses $25,535,849
Fund raising expenses 3,374,511
Administrative expenses 4,511,717
Other Expenses 843,124
Total expenses $34,265,201
Expenses in Excess of Income (858,258)
Beginning net assets 29,966,843
Ending net assets 29,108,585
Total liabilities 32,321,862
Total assets $61,430,447

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An organization may change its practices at any time without notice. A copy of this report has been shared with the organization prior to publication. It is not intended to recommend or deprecate, and is furnished solely to assist you in exercising your own judgment. If the report is about a charity and states the charity meets or does not meet the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, it reflects the results of an evaluation of information and materials provided voluntarily by the charity. The name Better Business Bureau is a registered service mark of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

This report is not to be used for fund raising or promotional purposes.

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