The United Way of Leavenworth County Tuesday reported the final result for its 2012 campaign following the end of the organization’s fiscal year.
Nancy Bauder, the executive director for the organization, said the human service agency took in a total of $350,000 this year, falling short of the $390,000 goal it had set before the beginning of the campaign in September 2012.
Bauder said realizing that the campaign was going to fall short was personally disappointing for her, considering the organizations — from Catholic Charities to the Alliance Against Family Violence — that benefit from the United Way.
“Our agencies need so much more,” she said.
Bauder said she also had expectations for her second campaign a director, especially given that in her first year, the United Way exceeded its goal of $375,000 with contributions of more than $390,000.
“After we did so well last year, I thought we were going to break $400,000 this year,” with early returns outpacing those from 2011, she said.
Bauder said the shortfall should not be perceived as a reflection on the work of volunteers who helped spread the message of what the United Way does to businesses and other organizations. Instead, she said perhaps one of the biggest factors in the decline of contributions this year is what for years has been one of the organization’s most reliable funding sources — the Combined Federal Campaign, which is comprised of contributions from federal employees and is collected separately from the Leavenworth County campaign. Bauder said cutbacks in the federal workforce might have led to the decline in CFC contributions this year, though some federal agencies — like the Eisenhower Veterans Affairs Medical Center — saw increased participation.
“Here, it was down by $20,000 to $30,000,” she said of the CFC, and reportedly down even more in places like Topeka. “That was huge.”
At the local level, however, was something of a silver lining — individual contributions from Leavenworth County residents increased this year over last year by 38 percent. In a letter to the community about the final result, Bauder wrote that payroll deduction contributions among Leavenworth County employees increased 300 percent this year. First State Bank and Trust in Basehor and Frontier Community Credit Union each experienced 100-percent participation in the payroll deduction program.
“The individuals that gave, gave a lot more,” she said.
The United Way will recognize those volunteers and contributors during the organization’s annual meeting April 10. She said the United Way, which is also now deciding how to allocate the contributions among the more than 20 member human-service agencies in the county, will start to talk about next year. The strategy is likely to mean the United Way will be spreading its fundraising efforts out — continuing to reach out to the communities of the county’s southern end and encouraging more companies all over to offer payroll deduction.
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“We do kind of know what to expect now,” she said.