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United Way faces a potential shortfall in 2019 Fundraising Campaign

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DULUTH, MN-- More than 70 non-profits in our area may not get the funding they expected this year.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Head of the Lakes United Way, an organization that raises money through donations to support charitable organizations, struggled during its 2019 fundraising campaign.

They are facing a projected $60,000 shortfall this year, but the number could change depending on how the campaign season ends.

The shortfall is primarily due to unpredictability according to United Way's President Matt Hunter.

“Businesses and individuals are facing a lot of uncertainty,” said Hunter.

With big companies like AAR and Verso shutting down entirely or laying employees off indefinitely, it’s unclear how much money they will lose from those big donors.

“As we get amounts and checks from those organizations from the pledges that have been made, we will know about the decrease in the amount,” said Hunter.

With less money coming in, United Way will have to allocate fewer dollars to the organizations they serve if fundraising doesn’t improve.

This will affect Life House, a local organization that helps homeless youth.

“Programs specifically in which we work with young people to enhance their employment skills, GED, and basic needs,” said Jordan Johnson, Executive Director at Life House.

The 2019 fundraising campaign ends Tuesday and with not much time left, United Way is remaining optimistic and looking at creative ways to raise more money in the 2020 campaign, according to Rachel Loeffler-Kemp, the Development Director at United Way.

“It might be more virtual campaigns, maybe presentations via zoom, we will be looking at how we can provide the fun and the spunk but more in a remote way,” Loeffler-Kemp said.

The United Way and it's grant-making partners were able to raise more than $1M for local COVID-19 relief.

This money is helping many of the agencies United Way supports.

If you would like to donate to United Way you can here.

John Cardinale

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