United Way Fraser Valley has fallen short of its fundraising goal for the first time in several years and has issued a plea to boost donations.
Lori Masse, director of resource development, said the organization is currently about $20,000 away from the $825,000 target for its 2011 campaign.
The campaign runs from September to December, and 79 per cent of the funds come from employee payroll deductions. Another 19.6 per cent is from corporate donations, while the remaining 1.4 per cent is from individuals contributing outside of a workplace program.
Masse said the campaign started well in the first two months. Several participating businesses significantly increased their donations from the previous year.
For example, Corrections Canada was up $15,000, Costco was up $18,000 and TD Canada Trust doubled its contribution from $13,000 to $26,000.
“In mid-November, we were up $30,000 from where we were the previous year … Then all of a sudden, something happened,” she said.
Donations tapered off in November and December. Masse said part of the reason is that many employees from participating businesses retired last year and are no longer part of the payroll deduction program.
But other factors aren’t so clear.
Masse said the shortfall will most likely be reflected in the number of “priority grants” that the United Way will be able to issue. These are awarded to groups that address one of three areas: the success of children ages newborn to six, poverty reduction, and homelessness and affordable housing.
Masse said the United Way has committed to providing $125,000 in these grants for 2012, but the requests amount to $300,000.
The organization also provides funding to about 30 agencies in Abbotsford, Aldergrove, Mission, Chilliwack, Kent, Harrison, Hope and Boston Bar.
These agencies include Abbotsford Community Services, Abbotsford Peer Support, MSA Society for Community Living and Women’s Resource Society of the Fraser Valley.
Masse said 14.4 per cent of the money raised goes toward fundraising costs such as brochures, pledge forms and some staffing.
For more information or to make a donation, visit uwfv.bc.ca or call 604-852-1234.