Financial Accountability

Where Does Our Money Go?

For the past several years, a viral email that has been circulating making erroneous claims about leadership compensation and the accountability of many non-profit organizations, including United Way Worldwide. In the interest of transparency, we have answered some frequently asked questions as they pertain to the Lakes Area United Way. If you have any further questions, please contact our office.

How are funds distributed to local partnering agencies?

Each year, the Vision Council determines how they feel United Way funds should be allocated.  These recommendations are made to the United Way Board of Directors who, based on the Vision Council's suggestions, approves funding for the following year.

How much of the local funds go to United Way World Wide?

1% of our funding goes to membership dues with United Way Worldwide. That money is given back to us in many ways including scholarships for training, access to free administrative tools, and funding through national campaigns. More importantly, it allows us to make United Way resources available here in the Lakes Area, such as 211,, Prescription Discount programs, and more!

Who is responsible for making sure the organization is staying accountable and transparent?

Local United Ways are separately incorporated non-profit organizations, with local volunteer boards comprised of local community leaders making the strategic decisions to achieve the organization's mission. We have also achieved the prestigious "Meets Standards" seal of the Charities Review Council, which means we have met the rigorous standards they put forth for accountability and transparency.  Please click on the logo to see our report.  Every year the record keeping goes through an independent audit of the books, and our 990 and Annual Report are available on our website. The community is also welcome to attend the Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors. In 2022, this meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 22nd at the Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce building after the conclusion of the June Board meeting (approximately 8:30am).

How much of the locally donated funds go toward administrative costs?

Our current administrative percentage is 10.9%.  The Charities Review Council recommends a range of 10-30% for nonprofit organizations, with less than 10% considered insufficient for proper administrative function.  We are as fiscally conservative as possible on the administrative end to ensure maximum funding opportunities for the programs we support.

Our Financials

2020 990

2020-2021 Annual Report

2019 990

2019 - 2020 Annual Report

2018 990

2018 - 2019 Annual Report

2017 990

2017-2018 Annual Report

2016 - 2017 Annual Report

2015 - 2016 Annual Report

2014 - 2015 Annual Report

2013 - 2014 Annual Report