Through a collective effort from the community, the United Way of Murray-Calloway County has exceeded 2011’s fundraising goal of $290,000 to $333,173.
United Way is a national nonprofit organization focused on utilizing community resources to create opportunities for other nonprofit organizations to help people in need.
Lance Allison, board chair for United Way, said since the recession, all types of non-profit organizations have seen a decline in donations.
He said he hopes by surpassing this year’s goal the agency will see an increase in donations from now on.
“We are just hoping that we have made that turn,” Allison said. “We struggled like all other agencies in this economic down turn.”
He said before the recession the agency was used to receiving more than $300,000 regularly.
The people involved with United Way are grateful for the individuals and groups who made it possible for the goal to be exceeded, Allison said.
“It has been fantastic,” he said. “We are very excited.”
Aaron Dail, executive director for United Way of Murray-Calloway County, said he attributes this year’s exceeded goal to the generosity of people in Murray.
Dail said the organization wanted to focus on establishing relationships with donors so they could understand how many people United Way influences.
“We work to create opportunities for nonprofits and for individuals to get support and help that they need to get out of a situation they didn’t expect to really get into,” he said.
The Murray-Calloway agency works extensively with the University’s Youth and Non-profit leadership program for volunteers, internships and special events.
“Our partnership list is pretty extensive,” Dail said. “We like to be involved in a lot of different aspects in the community because that’s what a community is, it is extremely diverse.”
The nonprofit receives the majority of its donations from four main groups, the individual gifts people make everyday, corporate donations, business and entity giving’s and special events, Dail said.
United Way focuses its efforts on education, income stability and health in the community.
If people are struggling to pay their monthly bills, the non-profit will try to help those individuals in whatever way it can.
The next step for United Way is to decide where the greatest need lies in determining where the funds are to be allocated.
“What we are doing now is we create grants and grant opportunities,” Dail said. “We are currently going through the process of assessing 15 organizations that have applied for granting funding from United Way.”