WENATCHEE — Some of United Way of Chelan and Douglas Counties’ long-time partners question whether they will have a place in the organization’s future given the new “needs” focus.
“There is really no benefit to Camp Fire for being a United Way agency,” said Theresa Samuelsen, Camp Fire NCW’s executive director. “With their current structure, we would not receive any funds from them. … I feel that every nonprofit plays an important role in our community especially serving those who are underserved.”
Her board of directors is considering cutting ties as a partner agency, which means the United Way would could not use its name in fundraising campaign efforts.
She said she has received calls from several individuals who in the past donated to Camp Fire through the United Way. When told Camp Fire will receive no funding, they said they would donate directly to Camp Fire in the future.
The Wenatchee YMCA sent a letter July 10 officially ending its partner association with United Way, citing similar concerns for future funding awards.
“We understand that the YMCA no longer fits as a partner agency,” YMCA CEO Dorry Foster wrote.
The Women’s Resource Center Executive Director Laurel Turner said her board is considering a similar move.
The other concern expressed by the partner organizations is the United Way’s continued financial uncertainty and lack of communication which created unexpected holes in their budgets.
“It was unfortunate that the United Way could not have given some warning to the nonprofits so that they could better prepare for a lack of funding,” Camp Fire’s Samuelsen said. “The United Way has had a year to figure out where their money went. I thought that everything was back up and running.”