More United Ways Set To Merge

United Way affiliate mergers continue. The retirement of a longtime United Way executive this month paves the way for a merger this summer of Denver area of affiliates. It’s at least the fourth merger of United Way affiliates announced or planned this year.

The merger of Mile High United Way in Denver and Foothills United Way, which serves Boulder and Broomfield counties, is expected to be completed by July 1. The combined affiliate will serve seven counties in the greater Denver area: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson.

Douglas Yeiser, president and CEO of Foothills United Way, will retire this month after a 30-year career in the United Way network. He has led Foothills since April 2013, just before the region was struck by massive flooding. He previously worked at affiliates in San Antonio, Texas; Tulsa, Okla., and New York City, as well as United Way Worldwide. Mile High United Way President and CEO Christine Benero will lead the combined organization.

“We will instantly be able to serve more people, more efficiently,” Yeiser said in a press release announcing the merger. “Joining forces with Mile High United Way means that we will be able to have a greater impact which is always at the forefront of our mission.”

The transaction “will allow us to better address the issues our communities face, maximize our collective resources, and continue to ensure that community needs are met today and in the future,” Benero said in the announcement without going into detail.

Mile High United Way is the larger of the two affiliates, reporting $39 million in net assets and $25 million in contributions in the Fiscal Year ending 2018. Formed in 1957, the affiliate has a 38-member board and employed 173 individuals during 2018, according to its most recent federal Form 990.

Foothills United Way in Lafayette, Colo., about 25 miles north of Denver, reported net assets of $1.5 million and contributions of $2 million, with expenses outpacing revenue by about $1.2 million and $560,000 respectively in the most recent two years. Foothills was formed in 1925 and has a 12-member board. It employed 34 people during fiscal year 2017, according to its most recently available Form 990.

Foothills United Way put its building on Cimarron Drive in Lafayette up for sale in December, with the assets expected to provide “sufficient cash to meet its funding requirements over the next year,” according to financial statements.

United Way affiliates around the country have seen more than 120 CEO and executive director positions turnover since the start of 2018, with at least one-third of those the result of retirements, according to an analysis published in April by The NonProfit Times.

    Mergers of United Way affiliates announced or planned this year include:

  • United Way of Greater Niagara and United Way of the Tonawanda;
  • United Way of Southwest Michigan and Van Buren County United Way;
  • Woodland United Way and United Way California Capital Region;
  • United Way of Walla Walla County and United Way of Umatilla and Morrow Counties; and,
  • United Way of Elgin and United Way of Metro Chicago.