BLOOMINGTON — United Way of McLean County did not eliminate funding to any of the 45 human services programs it supports, even though its annual campaign raised $300,000 less that it did last year.
“We tried to keep the programs as whole as we possibly could,” said Susan Redman, United Way’s Community Impact Cabinet chairwoman.
United Way’s board of directors on Friday afternoon unanimously approved funding recommendations by the Community Impact Cabinet. The cabinet consists of 40 community volunteers who analyzed applications from agencies that run the programs to make sure the programs are performing, said Redman, of the East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging.
The board allocated $3,088,209 to 45 programs for the fiscal year that will begin July 1. In addition, $22,778 is being held in reserve for special initiatives and time-limited grants.
Last year, $3,146,051 was allocated. While the campaign raised $300,000 less this year, the allocation was reduced by only about $58,000 because United Way set aside less money for special initiatives and time-limited grants and because the agency has made administrative budget cuts, said United Way Vice President Sarah Coffer.
But the smaller pot of money meant reductions had to be made. Sixteen programs will receive less money beginning July 1.
Most reductions are small. Cuts of more than $5,000 were made to Marcfirst’s Supported Employment and SPICE, Community Health Care Clinic, Full-Day Extension of Heartland Head Start and McLean County Urban League’s Tomorrow’s Scientists, Technicians & Managers.
The health clinic actually is receiving the $175,000 it requested, said Executive Director Angie McLaughlin. The clinic received additional money last year for a part-time pharmacy technician but that position is supported this year by Scott Health Resources, she said.
Even though demand is up at the clinic, McLaughlin was “thrilled” that the reduction wasn’t greater. “It’s a tough time for everyone,” she said.
Four programs received small increases in funding; the largest went to The Salvation Army’s Safe Harbor shelter, whose allocation went from $100,000 to $105,150.
“The Salvation Army is ecstatic to be receiving a slight increase in funding this year, knowing that fundraising has been tight,” said Andrea Raycraft, the agency’s development director. “This increase could not have come at a better time when our state and federal funding is in a state of flux” and as the number of clients served has increased 15 percent this year.