ShareThis Page
Charities’ funding feud: A question of priorities |

Charities’ funding feud: A question of priorities

| Thursday, October 2, 2003 12:00 a.m

The Salvation Army and the United Way of Westmoreland County risk damaging something vital — their good reputations — if they allow a disagreement over funding to devolve into charges and countercharges.

Handled the wrong way, the dispute could have a chilling effect on public contributions — and right before the holidays, no less.

The disagreement began in April when the United Way withheld $21,000 from the Salvation Army after it failed to provide an independent audit, among other requirements. (We’re told the funding still could have been accessed by the Salvation Army.)

The Salvation Army responded with an emergency fund-raising campaign of its own in June; its literature didn’t paint a positive picture of the United Way. The United Way, which allocates about $300,000 annually to 12 Salvation Army units in Westmoreland County, responded by informing the agency that “any additional adverse publicity” will be factored into an ongoing program review. Translation: Knock off the negativity.

Neither side wins if contributors bypass the United Way, the Salvation Army — or both as a result. Better for officials of two well-regarded organizations to meet face to face to candidly discuss and amicably resolve their differences. Letting things fester only widens a divide when both agencies essentially are in the same business.

Here’s hoping that business — and not an inter-agency squabble — will take precedence.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.