December 12, 2012

United Way Ranked as All-Star Charity

United Way Worldwide has been named one of "Forbes Picks: All-Star Charities," a newly created category that reflects the organization's dedication to quality programs, community impact and organizational efficiency.  Forbes included United Way as a financial efficiency all-star based on the overall percentage of donations used in program implementation.

"It is an honor for United Way and the thousands of community impact professionals working throughout our network to be recognized as a top charity for our resources, community impact, program quality and organizational efficiency," said Stacey D. Stewart, president of United Way U.S.A.  "After 125 years of creating long-term change in communities, United Way continues to create opportunities for a better life for all throughout the United States and around the world."

Locally, Berkshire United Way's emphasis on quality programs and driving long-term sustainable change through community impact takes several forms.  Programs must be aligned with community goals in education and employment and achieve specific outcomes.  Over the last year, the organization invested $370,000 in 10 programs to support early childhood education and literacy, $626,000 in 21 programs to support youth development, and $598,000 in 17 programs to support employment and financial stability.  And in recognizing that significant long-term change can't come through programs alone, Berkshire United Way efforts have resulted in several initiatives formed in collaboration with business and community leaders, such as Pittsfield Promise, the Early Childhood Think Tank, Pittsfield Prevention Partnership, and Face the Facts—reduce teen pregnancy.

"In light of Forbes' recognition of United Way programs and strategy, we are energized to continue serving the community to create lasting partnerships that drive long-term change in education and employment," said President and CEO Kristine Hazzard of Berkshire United Way.

United Way is a worldwide network in 40 countries and territories, including more than 1,200 local organizations in the U.S. Berkshire United Way is a member of United Way Worldwide and is governed by a volunteer board of directors – all of whom live or work in Berkshire County.  The local board develops policy and oversees paid staff while the CEO is responsible for day-to-day operations and management. Berkshire United Way is funded through voluntary contributions from individuals, businesses and foundations dedicated to the community and all funding decisions are made locally with review and input from community volunteers.

Berkshire United Way advances the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the building blocks of education and employment.  Berkshire United Way recruits people and organizations who bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done.  LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change.