“Our net receipts are currently projected to be down about 30% this year compared to last,” says Jeff Miracle, United Way of Greater Augusta CEO. “This is not unique to our United Way. Nationally, employee-giving campaigns have trended downwards over the past several years. As a result, we have already made significant cuts in our operating budget, eliminating every internal expenditure and overhead cost possible, saving over $65,000.”
United Way of Greater Augusta is launching an additional fundraising effort to bridge the gap in giving for this fiscal year. “Our goal is to raise an additional $50,000 over the cost-saving measures already taken, in new non-designated funding so that there will be no financial impact to our grant-funded agency partners,” explains Miracle. “We have the resources to fully fund these partners in the near term. Our intent is that the ‘Bridge the Gap’ campaign will allow us to continue to fully fund our Nonprofit Partner Agencies through the fiscal year.”
The decline in United Way of Greater Augusta corporate-employee giving may force the agency to reduce or cease funding to grant-funded agencies from April 15 through June 30.
“We are making every effort to prevent that from happening,” stresses Miracle.
The Bridge the Gap campaign will focus on appeals to the public, special corporate-sponsorship opportunities, and direct appeals to community leaders, influencers, and past donors.
The campaign had its informal kickoff Thursday when the United Way of Greater Augusta invited its grant-funded agency partners to its office to discuss the shortfall. During that meeting, Miracle explained the possible financial impact on grant funding, and enlisted the agencies’ cooperation in working collectively to support the campaign to the mutual benefit of the agencies and the community at large.
United Way of Greater Augusta has set up a donations page on its website, www.unitedwayga.org, for online contributions. Donations may also be made by check payable to United Way of Greater Augusta and mailed to: 24 Idlewood Blvd, Suite 106, Staunton, VA 24401. Credit Cards donations may be made online or by calling the United Way of Greater Augusta office at 540-885-1229.