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Charlotte United Way gets $1 million gift

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Leon Levine

Leon Levine

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The embattled United Way in Charlotte received a vote of confidence in the form of a $1 million matching gift from the Leon Levine Foundation.

The gift is designated for United Way of Central Carolina’s Community Care Fund, which the agency uses to address local human-services needs.

The agency aims to raise $22.7 million for the fund during its annual fund drive this year, $1 million more than last year, but less than the total of $31 million the agency raised in 2008.

This year’s campaign will raise funds only for the Community Care Fund, and will not solicit gifts earmarked for United Way’s network of affiliated nonprofits.

If the agency meets its $22.7 million goal, the Levine Foundation will give $1 million to the Community Care Fund.

The gift comes in the wake of a compensation-related scandal that resulted in the ouster of United Way’s CEO in 2008 and coincided with the onset of the recession and the turmoil in the banking industry, a perennial funding engine for United Way fundraising drives.

As a result, the 2008 campaign fell $14 million short of its $45 million goal, forcing the agency to cut community funding by 35 percent.

The organization now has a new CEO, several new management-level employees, new board members and new governance policies.

“The needs have never been greater,” Leon Levine, founder of the Levine Foundation, says in a statement. “We hope this challenge grant will have the effect of inspiring other, especially those who lost faith in the United Way, to support the Community Care Fund.”

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