What I want to know is what they are giving to corporations in order to get those corporations to pimp for them?
At Merrill, it's not so bad. You get a form and are told where and when to turn it in if you want money deducted out of your paycheck to go to the United Way. (My lead handed mine to me and it hit the recycle bin in one smooth motion.) You can target the money to a particular group the United Way serves, if you like. Still, they interrupted us during our peak to give a little rah-rah speech to everyone on the floor about donating. We were in the middle of a rush job and just stopped. (We did get donuts out of the deal.)
At ADC, it was heinous. There were United Way coordinators. They were given a batch of envelopes addressed to specific employees. You were harassed for a week about turning in the envelope; they wanted 100% return, even if you weren't donating. These coordinators were frequently your boss. If you didn't turn in the envelope, someone from HR sent you email asking about it.
So does anyone know what the corporate gain in this state of affairs is? Do they get a tax deduction for spending the time and money to raise their employee contributions? Do they get a kick-back from the United Way? Are their children being held hostage for donations? What?