Funding focuses on human care

The United Way Board of Directors has approved funding allocations for 2016-2017 to a total of 30 agencies, four more than last year. The increase in the number of organizations requesting funding and a reduction in the amount of money raised during the community campaign meant that difficult decisions had to be made.

“We were in the tough position of not being able to meet a single request in its entirety,” said John Evans, Chair of the volunteer Community Investment Committee. “We also had to pull back funding in some cases, as our funding focus had to be tightened up to reflect these financially challenging times.”

Meanwhile, measures are also being taken within the United Way organization to minimize expenditures.

“Our Board has directed us to revisit our operating budget and find additional ways to trim expenses further,” said Diane Shannon, Executive Director. “We are in a fiscal environment where we need to do more with less, and maximize efficiencies.”

The recommendations of the Community Investment Committee, endorsed by the Board, approved investments that seek to preserve core services offered by agencies that provide critical human care programs in the region. In so doing, a number of different requests will not be able to be funded in this cycle.

“We were not in a position to approve new programs within existing member agencies this year,” said Evans. “Wage increases, staff training and advertising were among the areas not approved for funding. Essentially, any programs or funding requests that were considered less than critical came under scrutiny.”

Agencies are being notified about their funding allocations over the next week.

“We recognize and appreciate the amount of time and effort that goes into the funding application process,” said Shannon. “Staff members and volunteers go above and beyond to provide our Community Investment Committee with the information required to make their difficult allocation recommendations.”

Reaching these tough decisions required intensive work on the part of the Community Investment Committee who worked closely with staff to review documentation, met with agency representatives and deliberated about how to best invest donor dollars to meet the areas of greatest need.

“We are deeply grateful to the thousands of donors and volunteers who have helped us be in a position to fund organizations and programs that provide essential human care,” said Shannon. “Your generosity of time and money is going to help 30 different agencies continue their vital work meeting community needs.”


Author: The United Way of Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo | 780-791-0077 ext. 3015