Tuesday, June 23, 2009

United Way - what's happening now and later

(Updated, 9:11 a.m.) At first, there was anger - non-profits upset at local United Way mismanagement, knowing that charities would likely feel the brunt of inevitable giver outrage.

Now there's anxiety - e-mails and phones calls between agencies in the past week, speculating about the bad news that's finally here, as the United Way of Central Carolinas announces it funding cuts today. (The announcement is expected at 1 p.m.)

"I think now it's kind of 'Let's just kind of know for sure, and that way we can take some action,' " says Carson Dean, executive director of Uptown Men's Shelter.

The United Way's regional board of directors is meeting Uptown this morning to discuss and vote on funding recommendations made by 234 volunteer members of the Citizens Review Process, who evaluated agency requests for a budget year that begins next week.

Agencies have known for months that the United Way would cut funding to its 91 agencies by around 40 percent. The United Way's 2008 campaign, hurt by controversy over former CEO Gloria Pace King's pay, fell $15 million short of the previous year.

"There are some people who are worried they might have to close their doors," Dean says.

United Way officials will contact agencies today to let them know if funding was cut - and how pain much those non-profits will feel. We'll bring you those decisions in detail, with explanations from United Way officials and reactions from the non-profit leaders as they get a clearer of view of their, and Charlotte's, needs.

UPDATE, 9:11 A.M.: the Observer's Mark Price reports from the United Way meeting that the Board has approved a policy tightening executive travel and reimbursement guidelines, part of the firestorm surrounding the former CEO.

Also, Susan Faulkner, co-chair of the CEO search committee, told the board that 275 candidates expressed interest in the job. The committee will narrow that to about 50 this week, then down to a top two or four on July 16 and 17. Those candidates will be presented to the board.

Faulkner also said two type of candidates are emerging - national candidates with a non-profit background and local candidates with both non-profit and for-profit backgrounds.

Which type of candidate do you think United Way needs? Is a Charlotte connection critical, given the turmoil that the local United Way has endured?

From our media partners:

David Boraks of Davidsonnews.net writes that North Mecklenburg got mixed news with Arts & Science Council funding. Some groups lost more than expected, while others were pleasantly surprised to get any money at all.

WCNC is reporting that senior centers need funding help.


Anonymous said...

shut down the united way to get rid of it's overhead

let people give to the organizations they select

no more strongarming by company management

Anonymous said...

Good Morning Peter

why don't you find/make a chart of some sort that explains clearly and succinctly the flow of the dollar from when it leaves a donors hand until it ends up where the donor may think it is going, and where it actually does and in what percentage.

For United Way or any other organization.

The large majority of folks will understand overhead and what not.

Anonymous said...

United Way has minimal overhgead and was created to reduce overhead for the other agencies. Do you think cies they help have time to raise money. Campaigning like the United Way and helping Homeless like the shelter downtown are two totally different things. So, lets do what every for-profit entity does and combine all the campaigning into one entity that can do it right. The people at Kindermourn do not know how to effectively raise money. The people at United Way do not know how to help people who have lost loved ones. It just makes sense taht all these smaller non-profits pool together. Obviously - as there is a UW in almost every city. Don't let one person ruin the UW

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how much United Way “cut” from their own budget, before making these cuts?

Anonymous said...

I for one am saddened to hear of the deserving Agencies who got the least of the needed funds. There were some Agencies who obviously had alot of political pull and got what they requested without any problems. Why is it the same Agency who seems to end up with most of the money from every community pot? If your Agency already got the most money from another pot then stop being so greedy and let others have something. Who is really being served from the giving. Is it truly the needy? I think a lot of people request asst. because they can get it with no problem. How often should people be allowed to come to the well? Perhaps the appeal is more than the surreal. True emergencies can't be arranged on an ongoing basis. The UW funding should be given to Agencies who help elevate and not sustain. It's not any one person's fault, it is a systemic problem where people are made to feel they are entitled and therefore they are given and given. My funds are given directly as a personal preference so I feel that my dollars are truly being used to elevate people to help themselves. Enough of giving for the sake of giving.