The United Way of Rutland County is facing a $150,000 shortfall in funding support for more than 23 community-based programs and is currently seeking to mobilize community support to raise critical funds for programs that benefit thousands in Rutland County.
Citing the impact of COVID-19 on waning corporate and individual giving, a recent audit confirmed a loss of $86,000 in 2020 and an increase in uncollectible pledges, the United Way is forced to change the way area social service agencies have been funded.
“United Way has always been here for our local communities, and we are facing an unprecedented funding challenge. We must limit our community funding to what we have collected during our fiscal year-end, rather than basing on projected pledges,” said Ashley Bride, Executive Director of the United Way of Rutland County.
Historically, the United Way of Rutland County has provided the largest pool of discretionary funding to vital community-based programs that provide essential financial, educational, and health-related services to our neighbors throughout the county.
“We continued our legacy of investing in our community agencies over the past two years despite a decrease in donor giving and corporate sponsorship believing that contributions would rise with the post-pandemic economy,” continued Bride. “Unfortunately, we did not fully anticipate how the COVID-19 pandemic would ultimately impact giving and, in 2021, we experienced an unpredicted decline in our annual corporate donations along with a similar decline in employee pledges made through workplace, payroll-deduction campaigns.”
“This is certainly not the outcome we want for these vital social service programs,” said Cathy Petrini, President of the Board of the United Way of Rutland County. “As a Board, along with staff, we are fully committed to reducing the impact on our community as much as possible. Revamping the funding process is an important first step, however, of utmost importance is reinvigorating community support. With that support we can reverse the dramatic decline in corporate and individual giving which has the potential to significantly and adversely impact the health and well-being of our community.”
Gifts received prior to August 31 this year will help United Way of Rutland County reduce its shortfall and to continue to support the partner agencies who support the health and wellbeing of our community.
Individuals and businesses are encouraged to donate online at www.uwrutlandcounty.org, or mail donations payable to United Way of Rutland County, to 88 Park Street, Rutland, Vermont. Creative workplace campaigns, employer contributions and matching contributions are greatly appreciated.
“We are thankful for those who have continued to support us and encourage donors to give generously to United Way of Rutland County over the next several months, helping to raise $150,000 in critical donations by August 31.
For more information, contact the United Way of Rutland County at 802-773-7477.
ABOUT THE UNITED WAY OF RUTLAND COUNTY
Serving Rutland County residents since 1943, we are an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the common good, focusing on Health, Education and Financial Stability. We are the largest non-governmental fundraising organization for local services within our community.
The United Way of Rutland County is vital in supporting agencies that deliver high-demand resources to communities in need and providing individuals with personalized help. The impact of these programs is measured by how well they solve problems and improve the lives of our residents. The outcome of all of their efforts is a healthier and stronger Rutland County community.