Lawmakers Livid About Charity Campaign Fees

Nov 5, 2015

Irate lawmakers are demanding to know why a contractor is making more money to manage a state employee charitable campaign than it gives to the poor.

Legislators are irate after a state contractor charged more to administer a charitable campaign for state workers than it ended up giving to the charities.
Credit United Way

Over the years, agency heads have waged friendly competitions to see whose workforce can raise the most for charity.

But Democratic Representative Alan Williams is in no joking mood after reading the Tallahassee Democrat. It’s reporting that private contractor Solix withheld more than half of last year’s $900,000 haul for administrative charges.

“It really is frustrating and it really deserves the attention of the entire Legislature, to make sure that this is corrected and that it doesn’t happen again.

The Department of Management Services claims Solix saved the state $400,000 compared to what its predecessor, the United Way, charged in 2011.

But the United Way administrative charges didn’t exceed 22 percent.

United Way of the Big Bend CEO Katrina Rolle says her agency took a $1.2 million hit when it lost the state contract, mostly because it lost easy access to state workers.

“That hurt our community tremendously. And we have been working hard to continue to support the community as we always have done. Although we’ve had reduced staffing and everything else.”

Democratic Senator Bill Montford of Tallahassee doesn’t buy the argument that Solix has to do the same work no matter how much workers donate to charity.

“It is critically important the percentage that a company would rake off the top. If you look back over the history of state contributions, state workers, over the years, have reached deep into their pockets.”

Solix did not respond to requests for comment.