United Way reports small fund decrease

With all but a few donations still to come in, Hood River County United Way expects its 2001 fundraising campaign to top out around $103,500.

The figure compares to United Way's $107,000 campaign in 2000. Despite the small decrease during this campaign, the volunteer board is pleased with the results.

"So much charitable giving was focused on the Sept. 11 tragedy and then the economy kept declining," said Rose Thomas-Wiley, United Way manager. "Small charities wondered if there would be enough left for local causes."

"We were preparing ourselves for a major drop in contributions, but we kept working hard and hoping the local community would take care of their own, too. They did and we are grateful," Thomas-Wiley said.

Donor designated contributions increased during this campaign (from $7000 in 2001 to $10,000 in 2002). This means more donors specified which agency would receive their particular contribution. The result is that the amount of discretionary funds available for allocation to agencies will be down by at least $7,000 this year. Applications for those funds will go out by mid-February. Last year, United Way served 16 non-profit agencies.

"The drop in the campaign was fairly evenly distributed throughout donor groups, with most employee campaigns either holding steady or dropping moderately," Thomas-Wiley reported.

Two business campaigns had significant increases. The campaign at Hood River Distillers increased by almost 23 percent bringing the employee and business total over $10,000. At Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital employee giving went up 23 percent for a grand total of $4,500. Giving from individual donors was up 15 percent in this campaign.

Thomas-Wiley said, "Considering the circumstances surrounding this last campaign, we are very encouraged by the support of this community for the local United Way and the agencies it helps support."

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