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Agencies get less this year

April 06, 2004|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Ten agencies who get funds from the United Way of Washington County will receive less than they got last year after allocated and donor-designated money from the 2003 campaign, which brought in $1,587,635, is distributed.

As the result of a $26,000 dip into United Way reserves, the shortfall for those agencies totals less than $21,000, said James Taylor, United Way executive director.

"It's been a tough year," Taylor said. "We went through a very extensive process of looking at past performance of agency programs and plans for the future to make our determinations."

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One of the agencies hardest hit is the Washington County Chapter of the American Red Cross, which will receive $104,263, down from the $114,346.39 it received from the United Way the previous year.

The drop of more than $10,000 from the previous year's United Way contribution will hurt, said Red Cross Executive Director Julie Barr-Strasburg.

"We were told up front it was going to be a real challenge to collect enough to fund our request this year," Barr-Strasburg said.

The Red Cross chapter, which depends on the United Way for 35 percent of its operating budget, will have to find a way to boost its own fund-raising efforts to make up for the shortfall.

"Donors will be asked to be a little more generous," she said. "Also we will have to get more creative with specific projects."

A total of $903,000 was allocated to 19 of United Way's 21 member agencies from the 2003 campaign, Taylor said. Hagerstown Day Nursery and Hospice of Washington County receive no allocations from United Way.

Another $242,052 was designated by individual donors to the 21 agencies.

"A committee of volunteers worked very hard to determine which of the agencies were investing their dollars to make the biggest difference in our community," Taylor said.

Taylor said $135,015 was designated to charities in other geographical areas as indicated by donors. Fund-raising and administrative costs came in at $194,697 in the 2003 campaign while the Day of Caring and other direct service programs cost $48,674.

The estimated amount of uncollectible funds is $90,345, Taylor said.

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