Is it wrong for catholics to support united way?


so at my workplace, the charitable campaign every year supports united way.

last year, I looked in to it and the main concensus was to check out the local chapter and see if they supported anything questionable, so far, I havn’et seen anything concerning, maily programs that benefit children and seniors. but I have come acress some comments that suggest that united way supports abortions and would donate money to certain organization that perform them. in Canada, it’s a bit different, it’s all government-funded health care and they are done at the local hospitals, so basically they are already deducting it out of our tax dollars, which we don’t relaly have control over, so we don’t really have anything like planned parenthood, per say.

last year I participated in some of the events, like doughnut or samosa sales, etc… but I am just wondering if it is wrong to do so? is there more concrete information? so far, all I have come across is hearsay.


Go to national united way and you will find more.


I did, there isn’t anything either


As mentioned you have to look at what they actually give money to. My local one supports Boys and Girls Scouts, the YMCA, and YWCA. I wouldn’t support any of those groups due to their promotion of homosexuality and transgenderism. My local one also supports the Salvation Army which is a pseudo Christian religious organization. It also supports Catholic Charities which shouldn’t participate precisely because the United Way gives to these other organizations.

Personally I also never cared for the heavy handiness of United Way. They get corporations to pressure their employees to give money.


If I look close enough, every corporation, business, somehow has a tie to someone who does something that I disagree with. I am not ready to go live in a cave and weave my own clothing from hemp and lambs, use no phone or internet, no electricity, no modern medicine.


Well if you change your mind, I’ll live in the cave next door and since you’re already doing all that stuff, you can do mine too! :grin:


Yes it is wrong. They support lots of things the Catholic Church disagrees with. You are supporting their admin costs, even if you direct your money to a cause in line with Catholic teaching. Give the money directly to the charity instead.


It’s good to do your due diligence before donating to anything. Sounds like you have.

Agencies apply to be United Way agencies at the local level, and they give grants at the local level, so the stuff you read on the internet cannot be applied to United Way globally. It really depends on your own United Way at the local level and what agencies are part of it.

Most of what you have been reading is US-centric and doesn’t apply to you.

No. It isn’t.

You’ve investigated where the money goes in your local community. Sounds like you’ve done what you need to do. Also, in most United Way campaigns you can also specify one or several specific organizations you want your money to go to. Ask about designated giving in your campaign if you are worried about it.

Bottom line, Angel. You aren’t doing anything wrong.


That’s your opinion but obviously not a Church teaching or the opinion of your bishop who permits Catholic Charities in his diocese to be a United Way agency.


You cannot make such blanket statements. There is NO Catholic Church directive from any bishop I’m aware of stating we cannot give money to United Way.

And a high number of Catholic Charities are United Way members, so many bishops don’t see it that way.

That is certainly always a good option.


Sure. But I’m responsible for my own actions not those of anyone else. Catholic Charities is fine anyway since it gets millions from the government for dealing with legal and illegal immigrants.


Source for this claim? Which Diocese?



You realize that refugees are not “illegal immigrants”.


Of course, and you realize that the millions that Catholic Charities get includes money to help illegals, right? If you didn’t then you can do a quick Google search and be convinced.


Back when my husband was still working, the United Way did not support the Salvation Army. Maybe that was just the local UW, I don’t know. We used to just give a payment once a year, rather than have it extracted from us monthly. Then we learned this, and we chose to support the local Salvation Army instead.


I don’t think Catholic’s should give money to the Salvation Army. I used to and they are a great organization for helping people in need. But unfortunately they are really a church. They are a denomination. They claim to be Christian but actually reject enough true teachings that the Catholic Church does not consider them to be truly Christian. So by giving to the Salvation Army you are giving to a heretical Christian organization.

Regardless I do think it is better to support charities directly. The UW claims a low overhead, and that is true. But the reason for that is that it gets corporations to do all the fundraising work and there is often a not so subtle hint of coercion in soliciting donations.


I did not make the claim. I don’t make claims unless I can substantiate them (or I note that it is simply my opinion).


What about non-monetary donations–clothes, furniture, cars?

And do people consider it a donation to shop there? We bought some furniture for my daughter’s college apartment at the SA store.


Good advice I wish I would take.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit