United Way not where it wants to be in fundraising

McHENRY – A gloomy economic outlook is leading to sluggish fundraising for United Way of Greater McHenry County, the nonprofit reported.

Since beginning its annual campaign in September, the group has raised slightly more than $120,000, or about 7.5 percent of its goal.

That’s less than it had raised by the same point last year, said Megan Harned, United Way’s fund development and marketing manager.

Harned said she worries that this year could be a repeat of last year, when the local United Way chapter didn’t meet its fundraising goal.

“We’re a little bit behind where we were last year, but we’re not so behind that we can’t make it up,” she said.

The nonprofit hopes to raise $1.6 million by June 30.

In response to last year’s numbers, United Way kicked off its campaign with the intention of bringing on more companies, through which it runs its campaigns. But only one new company has signed on.

Harned said she thinks the economy is to blame.

What United Way of Greater McHenry County is seeing is on par with what is happening nationwide.

Overall, charitable giving in the U.S. is down 3.1 percent compared with last year, according to the monthly Blackbaud Index.

United Way uses its proceeds to fund other area nonprofits, including Home of the Sparrow, CASA of McHenry County and Faith in Action. The 22 nonprofits it sponsors helped 84,000 local residents last year, according to a United Way release.

If it doesn’t meet its goal, it may have to cut its contributions, Harned said, although the impact will be minimized as much as possible.

For information, including how to donate, visit uwmchenry.org or call 815-363-1377.

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