United Way struggles to meet 2021 goal

FINDLAY, OH (December 2, 2021) - With one month remaining in the year, the United Way of Hancock County's campaign efforts are still $300,000 short of their $2 million goal.

The majority of the agency's 2021 fundraising efforts rely upon fall workplace campaigns, and the United Way notes that most additional campaign activities have not returned due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

"With workplace and community changes brought about by the pandemic, we've had to get creative with our fundraising. It takes every single donor and every single gift to keep Hancock County stabilized, safe and secure," said Angela Deboskey, CEO of the United Way of Hancock County.

The United Way supports a variety of essential programs and services that impact the vital and basic needs of children and families, which include food, shelter, recovery, safety, transportation and youth development. Campaign reductions could mean reductions and cuts to much-needed programs in the community, the United Way warns.

The agencies and programs that will be supported in 2022 and the specific monetary allocations have not yet been finalized.

"The money raised here stays here," Deboskey said. "These agencies rely on United Way support. If (the) campaign falls short, we will have to reduce our grants and further adjust our operations. Our community is counting on us, and we take that very seriously."

Corporate change and individual philanthropy reductions across the board are the two largest factors for the current fundraising need, United Way reports. Charitable contributions often follow trends of declining consumer confidence, and as companies change leadership or close, or if individuals become unsure of their employment future, donors adjust financially.

Despite fewer contributions, the needs in the Hancock County community remain substantial and will continue to be heightened due to struggles resulting from COVID-19, the United Way predicts.

"Throughout the last two years, the United Way of Hancock County was able to maintain all of our funding commitments, despite these large challenges," Deboskey said. "We've been strategic in keeping costs low, applying for payroll protection, and winning outside grants which bring additional dollars into Hancock County. We remain grateful for our faithful donors and the new companies and people who've stepped up to help."

The United Way is wrapping up its workplace campaign this month, with a soft close at the end of January. Individuals or companies can contribute or pledge online at www.uwhancock.org, by mail, by phone or in person.

Help United Way maintain the great programs their partner agencies facilitate by donating to its annual campaign goal at: https://www.liveunitedhancockcounty.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=1