Archived Story

United Way falls short of goal

Published 9:36am Monday, January 13, 2014

The United Way of Freeborn County fell short of its 2013 goal, according to officials with the organization on Friday.

The organization raised about $552,000 out of its $696,000 goal, said executive director Ann Austin. The most the local United Way has ever raised was $630,000 last year.

Ann Austin
Ann Austin

Austin said she knew the goal would be a challenge to reach and she is grateful for those who donated.

“I can’t even say we’re disappointed,” she said. “We understood that since the recession hit we were going to face a scenario like this at some point.”

Despite overall donations decreasing, she said some businesses increased their giving. Larson Manufacturing’s donations were up by 21 percent and Streater’s were up by 7 percent.

“For them to be able to increase this year shows a lot of promise and hope for the future,” Austin said.

The United Way allocations committee will meet Tuesday to review the requests for funding from its partner agencies based off of how much money was donated. It will make its recommendations for cuts to the board, which meets Wednesday.

Austin said there’s already been discussion about cutting 5 percent of the operating budget.

She said the board is changing its application process for coming years. There will be more of a focus on collaboration and encouraging the United Way agencies to find partners in the community.

“We’re encouraging to think outside of the box,” she said. “We’re looking forward to what everybody else has to bring to the table.”

The United Way of Freeborn County is at 341 S. Broadway and can be reached at 373-8670.

Of the funds donated, 98 percent stays local, 1 percent goes to other communities and 1 percent goes to membership to the United Way worldwide.

Of the 98 percent, 11 percent goes to overhead costs. The organization helps 29 local programs.