United Way was named an "all-star" charity by Forbes magazine for the high percentage of its donations that go toward direct services.
The magazine ranked the U.S. charities that received the most in private donations according to financial efficiency. The "Forbes Picks: All-Star Charities" was released in the magazine's Nov. 19 issue.
In addition to the United Way, the top five were: Brother's Brother Foundation; JDRF, formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; Boys and Girls Clubs of America; and International Rescue Committee.
Forbes reports that United Way was the country's largest charity in the U.S. with $3.9 billion in donations in 2011, with 57 percent of the donations from payroll withholdings and 20 percent from corporate gifts. The nonprofit has 1,800 chapters across the world, including the United Way of Central Maryland
"We are extremely proud to be part of the United Way movement whose focus is on improving education, income and health outcomes in communities like our own across the country," Mark Furst, president of the local United Way, said in a statement. "Forbes' recognition is very welcome because it speaks to the trust that so many individuals, businesses, foundations, governments and nonprofits have in us."
Priority investments for the local United Way include the Read Learn Succeed program, the Family Stability Initiative and Access to Health Food Initiative.
Nationally, United Way's overhead is 13.8 percent, well below the recommended standard of 25 percent by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, said Ashley Gorby, a spokeswoman for the charity. The overhead rate for the United Way of Central Maryland was 17.89 percent for the fiscal year ending on June 30.
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