EMAIL TO PWTL FROM HEART OF FLORIDA UNITED WAY
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2000 2:34:21 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Julia Botsko JBotsko@HFUW.ORG
To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" email@example.com
Given your previous e-mail regarding Heart of Florida United Way, I wanted to update you on the Board of Director's decision regarding a non-discrimination policy.
First, let me emphasize that the local chapter of the Boys Scouts is still a member agency of Heart of Florida United Way. They will receive dollars from the 2000 campaign that is currently running.
Second, I would like to explain that the policy adopted by the Board of Directors does not dictate whom an agency hires or recruits as a volunteer, as long as they are in compliance with the law.
Third, the policy states that agencies cannot discriminate against the people they serve in the services they provide.
Finally, I want to emphasize that this policy will not take affect until 2001 and that we are currently working with the Boy Scouts to reach a resolution that can work for both organizations.
Please read through the attached Q&A and if you have any additional questions or comments, please e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
What is Heart of Florida United Way changing about its Fund Distribution Policies?
United Way is adding language to the current Fund Distribution Policies and Procedures that will specify that no member agency may discriminate against particular groups in the provision of services. The policy reads:
"Every person in our community is of value and can contribute to a healthy, safe, strong and caring community. In addition, Heart of Florida United Way believes that people, no matter what their background, deserve to have access to the resources that will help them grow to their greatest potential.
Therefore, United Way does not fund any agency that discriminates in the provision of services through any program on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, veteran status, national origin, age, or any other characteristic protected by law.
This policy does not prohibit any agency from operating specific programs based on age, gender, health or disability designed to meet the special needs of target populations with those characteristics.
Further, this policy does not prohibit any agency from selecting its leadership on any legal basis.
The policy will be effective for the 2001 campaign and the distribution of the dollars raised in that campaign."
Why is the Board of Directors for Heart of Florida United Way adding the non-discrimination language to its current Fund Distribution Policies and Procedures?
The Board of Directors strongly supports the position that discrimination is wrong and that as a community organization, further, United Way should and must embrace diversity and encourage inclusiveness. Further, Heart of Florida United Way believes that if we raise money from everyone in this community, then the services provided by our member agencies should be open to everyone in this community. Upon reviewing our current Fund Distribution Policies, the volunteers found that we did not have language reflecting that intent.
Will the new addition to the Policies and Procedures affect any member agencies or their funding?
Any agency currently listed in our materials for the 2000 campaign will receive money through the fund distribution process for distribution in the July 2001 through June 2002 funding cycle. This policy will not go into effect until the 2001 campaign.
What will happen if an agency does not comply with the Non-discrimination Policy?
The policy will not go into effect until the 2001 campaign. Any agency that is unable to comply with the new policy or is found to be in violation of the new policy before the production of the 2001 campaign materials will not receive funding from the 2001 Heart of Florida United Way General Campaign.
Are you forcing agencies to change their standards or the way they do their business?
No. Agencies may run their organizations as they see fit, however, funding from Heart of Florida United Way is contingent upon compliance with our standards and policies.
Is this only a Boy Scout issue?
No. This is a Heart of Florida United Way policy issue that will affect all allocation decisions to member agencies. This change is a logical outgrowth of our mission: To engage all citizens to work together to build healthy, safe, caring and strong communities. As a funding source, our Board believes that we have an obligation to the community to provide funding to programs that are non-discriminatory in the provision of services.
If an agency loses United Way funding, what will happen to the people being served by those programs?
United Way is committed to helping people in need. If an agency loses funding, United Way will make sure that funds are made available to other agencies in order to serve the groups affected.
Is United Way dictating the hiring of staff or the recruitment of volunteers to its member agencies?
No. The policy is intended to guarantee that any service available to the community is available to all members of the community. The policy reads:
"Further, this policy does not prohibit any agency from selecting its leadership on any legal basis."
How will the Non-discrimination Policy affect agencies that target specific groups? For example the Girl Scouts?
The policy allows for agencies that are targeting specific populations. The policy reads:
"This policy does not prohibit any agency from operating specific programs based on age, gender, health or disability designed to meet the special needs of target populations with those characteristics."
However, agencies must be inclusive within those targeted groups.
How will the new policy be implemented?
Heart of Florida United Way staff and volunteers will be meeting with all member agencies before the materials for the 2001 campaign are produced to discuss the implementation of the new policy.
Why was a decision made before the "30 to 60 day" window?
The Board had originally planned on a sub-committee being formed to review this issue over the next 30 to 60 days. The Executive Committee felt strongly that in the interest of this organization, the work we are trying to accomplish, and this year's campaign that we should reach a resolution on the policy as soon as possible. Many companies and individuals were telling us that they would not run a campaign this year until we resolved the issue. The Executive Committee felt it was their obligation to resolve the issue with the Board of Directors.
A committee will be formed and it will review all Heart of Florida United Way policies.