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December 21, 2013

Agency reaches campaign goal

Ada — The Ada Regional United Way wrapped up its annual fundraising campaign last week and will begin distributing the proceeds in early 2014.

The United Way generated slightly more than $230,000 for social service agencies during the campaign, which ended after the nonprofit’s last major employer turned in its contribution on Dec. 18, executive director Latricia Bryant said Friday. She said that donation allowed the United Way to reach its goal for the year.

“So that finished us up, and we’ll continue to take contributions and pledges until the end of this year,” she said.

Any contributions that are turned in to the United Way by Dec. 31 will be added to the total for 2014.

A nonprofit organization, Ada Regional United Way supports 13 local social service programs as well as a national literacy project. Each year, the nonprofit launches a campaign to raise money for the agencies, which use those dollars to supplement their funds from other sources.

The United Way kicked off this year’s campaign in September with a goal of raising $230,000 for participating agencies. Bryant said the campaign started well and hit a lull, but it had a strong finish this month.

Ninety-nine percent of the funds stay in the community, and 1 percent goes to the United Way of America in the form of dues. The dues help cover staff training, community research, campaign products and other expenses.

The fundraising campaign is only one stage in the allocation process, which begins in February of each year. Social service agencies seeking funding fill out an application and submit it to the United Way, and Bryant reviews applications before presenting them to a group of volunteers known as the Community Investment Committee.

The committee reviews the applications and meets with representatives of each agency, then makes recommendations to the United Way’s board of directors. The board considers several issues, including the agency’s overall budget and other sources of funding, before deciding how much money each agency will receive.

At the end of the year, the board makes sure the United Way has reached its fundraising goal. Next, the board debates whether it should adjust the allocations for each agency.

The United Way surpassed this year’s goal by about $300, so the allocations for each agency will probably not change, Bryant said.

“Since everything’s pretty even this year, the agencies should anticipate receiving the allocated amounts that were announced in June,” she said. “And on average, they receive that monthly.”

Bryant said she was pleased that Ada residents are willing to help the United Way and local social service agencies.

“We appreciate the community so much for supporting us so that we can, in turn, support the community back,” she said.

Reach Eric Swanson at adanewsreporter@cableone.net.

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