Ethics and Accountability
Like the 900 other United Ways in the country, United Way Montcalm – Ionia County is an autonomous 501(c)(3) organization that is governed by a local all-volunteer Board of Directors. Additionally, a volunteer committee of financial experts from the community meets year-round, monitoring the organization’s financial position. United Way Montcalm – Ionia Counties is committed to ensuring your gift is invested in the most effective way possible to provide maximum results. Our operating budget is audited by an independent accounting firm and is carefully reviewed by the members of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.
We would like to thank the thousands of people in Montcalm and Ionia Counties who invest in our community through United Way. We will continue to maintain a high standard of accountability and making sure that we are focusing on the most critical issues that impact our two-county coverage area today, tomorrow and into the future.
United Way's Equity Vision
We recognize structural racism and other forms of oppression have contributed to persistent disparities which United Way seeks to dismantle. Our United Way strives to engage community members, especially those whose voices have traditionally been marginalized. We work with residents, local government, and public and private partners to co-create solutions that ensure everyone has the resources, support, opportunities, and networks they need to thrive. We commit to leveraging all of our assets (convening, strategic investments, awareness building, and advocacy) to create more equitable communities for every person in Montcalm and Ionia Counties.
Diversity and Inclusion
United Way strives to be a model of diversity and inclusion. Our Board of Trustees, staff and volunteers reflect the many faces, cultures and walks of life that proudly make up our world.
We respect, value and celebrate the unique attributes, characteristics and perspectives that make each person who they are. We also believe that bringing diverse individuals together allows us to collectively and more effectively address the issues that face our communities. It is our aim, therefore, that our partners, strategies and investments reflect these core values.
- di·ver·si·ty (d-vûrs-t, d-) n.: the quality of being different or unique at the individual or group level. This includes age; ethnicity; gender; gender identity; language differences; nationality; parental status; physical, mental and developmental abilities; race; religion; sexual orientation; skin color; socio-economic status; work and behavioral styles; the perspectives of each individual shaped by their nation, experiences and culture—and more. Even when people appear the same on the outside, they are different!
- in·clu·sion (n-klzhn) n.: a strategy to leverage diversity. Diversity always exists in social systems. Inclusion, on the other hand, must be created. In order to leverage diversity, an environment must be created where people feel supported, listened to and able to do their personal best.
- United Way's Equity Definition – Equity is the intentional including of everyone in society. Equity is achieved when systemic, institutional, and historical barriers based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and other identities are dismantled and no longer predict socioeconomic, education and health outcomes.
Statement of Principle
More than 125 years ago, the diverse community leaders who founded United Way crossed cultural, religious and economic boundaries to make a difference through collective action. Today, diversity and inclusion remain vital to achieving our mission, living our values and advancing the common good.
United Way fosters and promotes an inclusive environment that leverages the unique contributions of diverse individuals and organizations so that we can collectively and effectively create opportunities for a better life for all.
United Way takes the broadest possible view of diversity, going beyond visible differences to affirm the essence of all individuals including the realities, background, experiences, skills and perspectives that make each person who they are. Engaging the power of diverse talent and partners results in innovative solutions and the community ownership necessary to address complex community issues.
Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of what it means to LIVE UNITED.
Code of Ethics
United Way Volunteers, employees and representatives have a responsibility to uphold the highest ethical standards. We believe these standards go beyond compliance with laws and regulations – calling us to fulfill higher obligations as stewards of the public trust. The Board of Directors and United Way staff approve the code annually and board members are required to personally certify their compliance to it.