The Lakeland United Way is saddened to report that their bank accounts have run dry. The non-profit organization, which provides funding for charity organizations in the Lakeland, reports that after a slow year and the cancellation of their annual golf tournament, they are in fear of not having money to meet 2017 needs.
Dawn Weber explains, “in order for us to be able to provide funding to non-profits, we have to find sponsorships; be it corporate or otherwise, throughout the year.” The Lakeland United Way also encourages others to host third-party fundraisers and hosts their own fundraisers; such as the annual golf tournament.
The tournament typically would bring in over $50,000 each year; however it was cancelled this summer after low registration made it apparent the group would lose money had they gone through with it. “Due to a number of factors, including the economy and the cancellation of the tournament, we just don’t have the funds to be able to give what we normally give.” Weber says in a normal year the Lakeland United Way will grant $100,000-150,000.
“The United Way provides funding to charities, as long as they fall under our mandate, of ‘people helping people’. Non-profits, sports group, or day cares, as long as they have a charity number they can apply for funding from the United Way.” The Lakeland branch falls under the umbrella of the national United Way; however it is responsible for raising the funds through event fundraising and corporate sponsorships.
“At the end of the year, when we get all the applications, it’s our job, as a board, to meet and scrutinize every application and figure out how much funding the applicants will recieve,” Weber says each case if different depending on the needs and the means. She explains that some non-profits have been successful for multiple years and depend on the funding. “The Dr. Margaret Savage Crisis Centre, for example, we provide the funding for the help line and we have for many years,” Weber says the funding for the crisis line is approximately $20,000 annually.
In order to help replenish their funds, the Lakeland United Way has extended a challenge to the public, People helping People Challenge. “For all of October, we challenge the business community to help raise funds; however they can,” Weber says she’s always been moved by the generosity of the Lakeland. “The community has always come together when they have been called on; and we’re calling on them now.”
For ideas on how to plan a fundraiser, to register a challenge, or more information on the Lakeland United Way, contact [email protected]