Findlay, OH (Dec. 9, 2020) United Way of Hancock County will continue to seek additional support through the end of the year due to the pandemic’s impact on fundraising efforts and ongoing unemployment.
The impact of the corona virus (COVID-19) has multiplied the demand on local nonprofits to provide more services to an increased number of Hancock County residents with less resources. Cancellation of third-party fundraisers due to social distancing protocols has created a decrease in anticipated donations forcing modifications to budgets as well as programming.
“What we want the community to know is needs are up, commitments are down and there is still time to contribute,” said Amy Hackenberg, board chair for United Way.
United Way faces the same types of loss which will directly impact grants issued to the 22 agencies and 36 programs it supports. The primary concern is for the potential limitation of services by the qualified agencies positioned to assist with basic needs.
“Third-party fundraisers account for more than $500,000 in annual revenue for our organization” said Angela DeBoskey, CEO of United Way. “The virus forced these events to cancel which immediately impacted our campaign before it began.”
Although third-party fundraisers are a large part of its annual efforts, the primary source of fundraising for United Way is workplace campaigns. The virus-related impacts on the workforce have presented another fundraising challenge for 2020.
“Many people who may have donated to a campaign are now accessing services supported by United Way due to stay-at-home orders, shutdowns or restructuring,” said Heather Heilman, resource development director for United Way. “That’s why this campaign is so important to so many in the community. We must continue to support the organizations meeting basic needs to stabilize our community and keep it a safe place to live.”
In 2020, United Way issued $2,043,000 in agency funding. With workplace and campaign adjustments, the amount available to grant in 2021 will be less.
“When setting our campaign goal, we adjusted for the loss of the third-party fundraisers but strived to maintain our workplace and individual support goals,” DeBoskey said. “To offset workplace reductions, we approached new workplace partners and hosted an eight-week online event, but as of last Friday, we remain roughly $200,000 shy of our goal.”
Active solicitation has ended for United Way but donations for the 2020 campaign can be accepted through the end of December.
“Several long-time donors have indicated they may make additional pledges if the need was known, so we are openly sharing that we are short of goal and asking for their consideration,” said DeBoskey.
United Way has been active in community recovery efforts in several ways raising more than $120,000 in crisis relief to local nonprofits. These grants aided households with rent, utilities, and supplemental food needs due to the pandemic. United Way has also brought in $82,059 in grants from outside our area thereby stretching local resources. Additionally, the Volunteer Center has supported nonprofits and community members through hands on and innovative opportunities such as Days of Caring and more recently the Senior Cheer program.
In late November, United Way coordinated a community-wide canned food drive, United We Can, in response to the increase demand for supplemental food. More than 15 organizations and community members donated nearly 2,000 pounds of food to distribute to local food pantries by the end of this month.
To learn how you can give, advocate or volunteer for the Hancock County community, visit www.liveunitedhancockcounty.org or call 419-423-1432.