Our Opinion: Making an impact

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Those attending Tuesday’s United Way breakfast at the conference center likely got a glimpse of the future of the local organization.

Representatives from the Greenville, S.C. United Way told the locals how they revived their campaign and have transformed it into an organization that is making a difference in Greenville – a measurable difference.

No longer does the Greenville United Way just shake down local companies for money and give it away. This had been going on forever and little had changed in the community as a result. All the problems still existed.

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Through exhaustive research, they identified five issues which residents said mattered most and are in the process of shifting their resources toward achieving goals on those issues. One official noted that of 43 agencies that were funded by United Way last year, 29 of them saw their funding cut this year as resources are being shifted to the new priorities.

That should send a message to local agencies. If they want to continue receiving United Way funding, they need to show progress in solving the problems they exist to battle. If not, they are likely to have to begin looking elsewhere for funding.

While we hate to see any worthwhile community group lose funding, it’s a different world today in charitable giving. There is less money to go around and more organizations vying for it. The United Way is obligated to spend its resources where they make the biggest impact in our community.