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United Way considers change – Donors want more accountability

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The United Way serving the Portland, Ore., area, will probably change the way it allocates money to member agencies in order to ensure greater accountability to donors, the Portland Business Journal reported July 31.

Donors are pushing to be allowed to contribute directly to member programs without going through the larger organization. Executives at the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette believe the changes would increase donations.

“Rather than fund a general allocation process, corporate donors are more interested in our taking a strategic focus,” Michael Schultz, United Way vice president of community impact, told the Business Journal. “What we’re seeing and hearing are donors who want to see some tangible results.”

Currently, the agency distributes $20 million in donor contributions among programs in seven categories. The new approach would reduce the number of focus areas to three or four. Programs that don’t fit the new criteria could lose United Way funding they have received for years, while other programs might be eligible for the first time.

There is a “better than average probability” that the change will be made in the next 12 to 18 months, United Way president Larry Norvell said.

For full story, go to Bizjournals.

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