The United Way recently announced that all future contributions made to the ”Donor Option” category will be assessed a whooping 50% “carrying fee” in addition to their usual 12.5% assessment for “administrative” costs. This ill planned decision virtually kills donor option giving in Central Ohio.

In essence, this means that a $100 donation given to United Way’s “Donor Option” plan melts away to a $37.50 gift after United Way’s highway robbery.

After failing to meet their 2002 goals, a desperate United Way Board has decided to play hardball with alternative charity groups like Community Shares of Mid Ohio (CoSMO), which has over 28 member organizations including The Columbus Free Press.

CoSMO will continue the struggle to resist the United Way’s monopoly on workplace giving. This fall CoSMO has access to 10 public sector workplaces and is in over a dozen private sector campaigns. CoSMO has continued to grow steadily ever year. Its expanding success as well as other federated charities has threatened the chokehold United Way has on local companies.

The Columbus Free Press (aka Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism) advises its supporters to encourage your workplaces to include CoSMO as part of your payroll deductions campaign. If your company does not, please send your tax deductible donation directly to the Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism, 1240 Bryden Rd., Columbus, Ohio 43205.