Douglas County United Way announced at its annual meeting that it had reached its goal of $1.7 million for the 2012-2013 United Way campaign.
Nearly 200 people turned out for a celebratory dinner Tuesday night at Maceli’s, 1031 New Hampshire St., to honor the numerous businesses and volunteers who made the campaign a success.
Campaign chairwoman Becki Dick said reaching the goal, originally set at $1.8 million before being lowered, was not easy.
United Way was still $900,000 short of its goal when the campaign officially ended on Dec. 7. After a plea to local donors and businesses, the shortfall was erased.
Dick attributed the fundraising difficulties to a stagnant economy and the uncertainty of the presidential election in the fall, as well as the local United Way working through a transition period.
Dick said the United Way has switched from allocating funds to individual organizations to being more of a community quarterback, working with similar agencies to recognize their primary goals and distributing funds accordingly. There are three main areas of support: education, health and self-sufficiency.
“It’s been really wonderful to see all of those agencies at the table, seeing what they do best,” she said. “It’s been a lot more efficient that way.”
As an example of the new efficiency, Dick cited the Just Food food pantry overseeing the food pantries for The Ballard Center, The Salvation Army and Penn House. All of the organizations had previously run their own food pantries separately.