The Global Standards for United Way Organizations define the essence and key characteristics of a United Way, articulating the principles and practices that make United Way organizations unique and successful wherever they are in the world. Developed collectively in 2006 by more than 100 volunteer and professional leaders across 31 countries, the Global Standards have been translated into 10 languages. They are accompanied by tools for members seeking to understand the Standards, integrate them into their strategic planning, and use them as guideposts for evaluating their organizational performance. The Global Standards describe a path toward excellence. United Ways are not required to meet or comply with them, but rather, use them to help with strategic planning and continuous improvement. It is right and appropriate that United Ways experience varying levels of progress towards these aspirations. Beyond organizational planning and evaluation, United Way member organizations have made interesting use of the Standards:
- Helping the government incorporate the Financial Accountability and Transparency Standards into the country’s nonprofit regulations.
- Using the Community Impact Standards to influencing the national Department of Social Welfare’s 10-year plan.
- Drawing on the Governance, Ethics and Volunteer Leadership Standards to educate local nonprofit partners about good governance.
- Using the Standards as the framework for a United Way Founding Committee’s first business plan.
Download the Global Standards in your language: