United Way still needs $80k to meet fundraising goal

Published 9:59 am Saturday, January 17, 2015

With just six weeks left in the 2015 campaign, the United Way Fundraising Committee heard their rally cry this morning as they work to collect the remaining $80,000 needed to meet the 2015 goal.
Committee Chairwoman Candy Craig asked committee members to focus on getting the word out about the need still remaining for the Elizabethton/Carter County United Way.
“Every dollar that we don’t bring in affects the agencies,” Craig said. “This is not about the United Way. This is about those nine agencies that depend on this funding. We need Carter County to rally behind these agencies or they will lose that needed funding.”
Craig pointed out the agency was at 57 percent of the goal raised. She said at this time last year, the United Way had raised 96 percent of its goal.
“If we do not raise these funds there will be seniors with fewer services,” she said. “There will be children with fewer services. There will be people who are hungry because the food banks did not get their funding. There will be people who cannot pay their light bill but will not have any assistance to help them. It is community that will be affected if we don’t get this in. We have $80,000 to raise or our agencies will not get the funding they rely on.”
United Way Director Cheri Tinney said the agency had currently received around $76,000 of the $160,000 goal. She said close to $33,000 more had been pledged and was expected to come in, which would put the United Way at around $110,000 of the goal raised.
“It will bump us up, but we don’t know when that will be coming in,” Tinney said.
Tinney said she had been reaching out to past donors and local industries and businesses to try to gain more donations for the United Way. She said she would like to partner with local restaurants for fundraisers to contribute to the campaign.
She added that while most past contributors had made pledges to this year, the contributions had generally been less than in years past. Also, when the mailouts were sent to past contributors, she said around 60 percent were returned due to incorrect addresses.
Craig said the board members, as well as employees and volunteers from the supported agencies, needed to work toward collecting more funds for the campaign.
She said if the funding situation did not improve quickly, then the United Way Board of Directors would have to make a decision about reducing the payments to agencies.
“This is one of the hardest years we have faced,” Craig said. “It is how we come out of it that matters. We need to start thinking ahead to next year, be prepared and hit the ground running.”

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