Monday August 24, 2009 | United Way’s Jane McIntyre

August 20, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Posted in Coming Up | 9 Comments

The United Way has been in the news for many months and most of the news has not been good. New Executive Director Jane McIntyre hopes to regain public and corporate trust in United Way. It could be a daunting task as the organization is just weeks away from perhaps its most challenging fund drive in recent memory. Ms. McIntyre joins us to talk about her rise to the top of the struggling organization, her past experience with the YWCA and what her vision is for the future of the United Way of Central Carolinas.
Guest
Jane McIntyre – Executive Director, United Way of Central Carolinas

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  1. Often a rigid corporate culture prevents an organization from solving its problems.

    What in United Way’s corporate culture would Ms. McIntyre build on? And what would she guillotine?

  2. Jane, congratulations on a well-deserved honor.

    Apart from Ms. King’s compensation, it seems that the general public’s major beef with UWCC is the workplace giving model which is often perceived as arm-twisting pressure on employees to give their fair share. This model has also exacerbated the problem of UWCC donations going outside our community, since some corporations have insisted on open designations.

    Has the UWCC considered de-emphasizing workplace giving and reaching out more to individuals and families?

  3. How many of the orginizations supported by United Way have executives working for them who make salaries in excess of $300,000, $500,000, and $1,000,000? Does United way do anything to audit the books of member charities and charity executive salaries? If so, has the United Way ever denied gifts to organizations due soley or in part to excess salary compensation?

  4. Mike, I am the “Gary from Cornelius” who was on the air today. I am a great advocate of “Charlotte Talks” and your interviewing skills, but today I believe you lost your way in the interview with the new head of the United Way because of your personal bias against the United Way. Indeed, you stated emphatically that you felt you were forced to make a contribution to the United Way at a former postition by a manager who stated he expected to have 100% participation.

    When I got on the phone to engage the conversation, you then accused me of being an employee of the United Way, which is yet another example of why I was extremely unhappy with you about the unfairness of your interview today.

    Now for some background. First, I have never participated in a United Way campaign, never contributed to the United Way, and am not an advocate of the United Way. I am however on the Community Council for WFAE, and my listening to your and other shows on WFAE is always with an ear to whether the presentation and interviewing is fair and balanced. I rarely think you ever cross the line from being a fair and dispassionate interviewer, but this morning’s interview was an egregious exception from your usual fair and balanced approach.

    I thought your interview of Jane was premature, given that she has not even yet started in her job there. I think Jane wisely accepted the offer to be interviewed because she faces an uphill battle to restore the United Way’s credibility in the community. Nevertheless, I believe you owe her a second interview after she has been in the job for more than 3 to 6 months and has had the opportunity to have become fully vetted in the details of the operations of the organization at which she has not yet had her first day of work. As a consequence of your premature interview, you asked Jane many questions which she simply could not answer, and she wisely said she didn’t know the answers. You should have had the courtesy to accept her lack of knowledge as a condition of the premature interview. Instead, when I suggested to you that the interview was premature, you asked whether you should just hit lobs and not ask hard questions, which, as you very well know, was a fallacious response to the situation and avoided addressing the issue directly. You are a smart enough publicist to know how to thrust and parry, but your job on WFAE in this case is not to advance fallacies but to seek the truth. Seeking the truth does not however mean the journalistic form of waterboarding, which is what I felt was the nature of your interview with Jane. We have high expectations for your interviews, and when you don’t meet them, you need to know it.

    As to the United Way questions you asked, you needed to do a much better job of understanding the background and history of the United Way. It’s easy to take potshots at the size of its administrative costs, but one aspect of the United Way’s virtue is that it is able to act as fundraiser for many small not for profit organizations that cannot afford their own fundraising and accounting staffs. I stated that point during our on the air conversation, but your response was essentially to accuse me of being an employee of the United Way, and by implication, a “shill” caller, to which I take great exception.

    I also stated that the United Way in part had been hijacked by larger not for profits in the donor designated portion of the United Way. These donor designations do indeed increase the size of the total campaign, and you were correct in identifying that their inclusion overstates the amounts that are raised that actually benefit the charitable organizations who most benefit individuals in greatest need in the Charlotte area.

    All in all, Mike, this was far from your finest hour. You needed to do more research, know more about the details of how the United Way or the Combined Federal Campaign works (the “United Way” for federal employees), understand better how both programs have been hijacked by large and successful non profit organizations, have a better understanding of the size of the budgets and the fund raising requirements and compare those organizations sizes and executive salaries to comparable for profit organizations’ compensation practices, and layout, from the beginning of the interview, how these organizations work, what their virtues are, what their weaknesses are, what they are criticized fairly for, and then place the local situation into that context. As I write these words now, I feel that you veered as close to a Fox News moment as I have ever heard on WFAE, and that is not high praise.

    I am prepared to meet with you and discuss this at length should you wish to, as I really think you did a disservice to yourself and WFAE this morning.

    Gary Knight
    Cornelius

  5. All those words, and didn’t say a darn thing.

    • Didn’t say a darned thing? Sounds like he said, “Mike, at least let Jane get to work at UW and try and put her personal experience into improving the organization before you start ripping it.”
      That’s what I read. Our community has become so closed-minded about the good that UW does. Real change needed to take place there. This lady deserves a chance. Hey, isn’t that why this country elected Obama, to implement change? And if your company is beating you up for donations, it’s your company’s fault, not the UW. There have been so many blogs from people who say they just go ahead and write a check to the charity itself rather than donate through the UW. I really do hope, for our community’s needs, they’re just not ducking the opportunity to help.

      I always understood that if you wanted to improve yourself you could hire a personal trainer that could assist you in raising your level of benefit beyond that which you might have accomplished with no assistance. I believe that to be the role of the United Way.

      • Give it a rest! That Mike was in any way “unfair” in his questions is preposterous! He asked hard, but unquestionably fair, questions. It was refreshing to hear Ms. McIntyre say “I don’t know.” It’s OUR FAULT that society has conditioned us to be uncomfortable with “I don’t know” as an answer to a question. I want to know why running a non-profit commands such a high salary. Why should she not be paid $50,000/yr? Don’t hand me the nonsense about “talent” or “market value.” I’ve never seen any evidence of “talent” is a requirement for running any organization. Markets are manipulated by people who stand to gain the most from them, and I know of no exceptions. Oh, and nothing Mike asked will prevent Ms. McIntyre from doing a good job. It’s disturbing, but not surprising, that you see intense questioning as equivalent to a personal attack. Get over it.

  6. Of course I should have written

    “I’ve never seen any evidence of “talent” as a requirement for running any organization.”

    Apologies.

  7. What is the salary of the executive director of united way of central carolinas, Jane McIntyre?


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