United Way allocating $890,000 for 19 groups |[12/07/06]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 7, 2006

A total of more than $890,000 has been allocated by the United Way of West Central Mississippi volunteers to 19 member agencies, up by more than $30,000 allocated after the 2005 campaign.

The agency announced earlier this month it had topped its $1.5 million goal by hitting $1,502,039. As of Wednesday, the total for donations and pledges had risen to $1,550,989, said Susan Ivins, director of community investments.

The 2005 total was $1,500,573.61.

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Once gifts and pledges are received, a citizen committee divides the money, with amounts subtracted for staff, expenses and &#8220shrinkage” due to pledges made but not kept.

The donor investment committee, formerly known as the allocations committee, assigns gifts as specified by donors and, if not specified, to all member agencies according to need.

Of this year’s $892,693 total, $177,201 was designated to specific agencies by donors, leaving a $718,492 balance.

The number of agencies has dropped from to 19 through the withdrawal of the Arthritis Foundation, the Epilepsy Foundation and the Vicksburg Early Education Center. At the same time, the United Way picked up a new agency, Central Mississippi Prevention Services.

&#8220We have changed to an outcome-based accounting. Since these agencies were only getting a small amount they felt it was not worth the paperwork,” she said of the reasons the dropped agencies gave for withdrawing.

Ivins said the difference between the amount reported and the amount allocated is because of things that have to be taken from the total.

&#8220We only get 40 percent of the Combined Federal Campaign (conducted at federal installations). We run their campaign and report it in the total. There are also gifts designated to different United Ways and then there is the administrative budget which is 17 percent,” she said.