Kokomo — Only one United Way of Howard County agency did not receive all the money it requested.
Last week, the non-profit organization — funding 16 agencies and hosting 30 programs — concluded its 2010 Spark The Match campaign, announcing it exceeded its campaign goal of $1.8 million by $6,610.
Monday afternoon, during its annual board meeting, allocations for funded agencies and programs were announced.
Furthermore, like the city’s two biggest employers, the United Way has somewhat emerged from a dark financial cloud. The $2,817, 901.74 it has in the bank is a $200,000-plus increase from last year’s ending balance of $2,587,415.73.
Since August, the United Way’s Fund Distribution Council has been reviewing budgets to prepare allocations, said Lori Tate, United Way president. She said the distribution council adopted a different funding packet this year — introducing a scoring grid that highlights programs and outcomes rather than budgets.
“This process focused more on programs and how they impacted the community,” Tate said. “The scoring grid was positively received by the agencies and volunteers because it allowed them to elaborate on their actual programs and how they change lives. They did awesome for the first year.”
Tate said the distribution council’s recommendation established funding for the majority of agencies and programs at the 2010 level.
There were two exceptions to the funding level: The Mental Health Association requested less funding and the Carver Community Center’s funding was reduced because its packet was focused on financial information rather than program information, as required by the distribution council’s funding packet.
“We are still very happy with what we received,” said Jill Snyder, executive director of the Mental Health Association. “With the way things are in the economy and with joblessness, we are seeing a growing need for our services. People are experiencing situational mental-health issues and, from that, we are receiving more calls.”
Summer’s inclement weather caused the Carver Center’s two biggest fundraisers, RibFest and Summerfest, to be canceled or abbreviated.
In an attempt to possibly increase this year’s allocation, Tate said the Carver Center has initiated an appeal process. She said any agency may appeal allocation decisions.
This year, the United Way welcomed a new agency, Project Access, which receive funding of $20,000. The funding for Project Access supports its prescription-assistance program, which brings $55,000 worth of medication monthly to Howard County families.
“We’ve been around here since 2004, but this is the first time since we joined the United Way that we requested funding,” said Project Access executive director Suzan Overholser. “Until now, we had received money from grants, and that wasn’t renewed. Being a new United Way agency, we are very thankful for the allocation.”
Tate added agencies’ allocation amounts remained nearly static since $200,000 of the match money must be used for specific United Way initiatives such as 4Community and the Financial Stability Coalition.
The $200,000 grant match was from the Indiana Association of United Ways. The grant allowed dollar-for-dollar matches for new contributions from previous donors and new donors.
Last week, United Way released $56,000 of its grant-match funds to assist the Kokomo Urban Outreach and the Kokomo Rescue Mission with its programs.
Tate said $36,000 was given to the outreach and mission’s Food To You programs, and $20,000 was allocated to the outreach’s Baby University.
Baby University’s Sue Bond said the money will be used to educate parents who “are a child’s first teacher.”
“Through no fault of their own, we are entering the third generation of parents who have raised themselves,” Bond said. “We want to help them become stronger family units.”
And for the first time, $100,000 was established and distributed to 12 agencies meeting certain pre-campaign goals. Tate said these incentives were based on the same percentage of their total yearly allocation.
“The United Way would like to thank everyone for all the hard work, the creative talent and the ingenious methods used in raising our goal,” Tate said.