Most United Way partners receive increases in funding

Two-thirds of the community partners of United Way of Horry County received an increase in their United Way funding following a goal-making fundraising campaign for the second year in a row.

Last month, the United Way board approved funding – termed partner investments to reflect a new paradigm for United Way organizations nationwide – for 36 nonprofits that provide a wide range of services to thousands of Horry County residents. The 2017 allocations total $795,100. The United Way also pays $30,000 annually for 2-1-1 telephone service, which in 2015 handled a total of 128,547 Horry County calls.

“Thanks to this generous community and our campaign volunteers, approximately two-thirds of these partners received an increase,” says Genie R. Sherard, president of the United Way. “Specifically, 24 of the total 36 partners for 2017 were either increased (22) or are new (2).”

One of the new partners is First Steps, a reading program. The United Way board allocated $10,000 to First Steps, reflecting a focus on United Way being more than a fundraiser. For years, after an exhaustive review of nonprofits applying for United Way funds and approval, the United Way was done for the year. Now, Sherard says, “funding is a tool, a means to deepen and broaden the community impact of a partner. How can we make change lasting, make it deeper and broader in this community.”

The area chapter of the American Red Cross, once the recipient of the largest United Way amount, will have $10,000 less in 2017, with an allocation of $50,000. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and the Claire Chapin Epps Family YMCA ($15,000, down from $27,700) were allocated less by United Way. Meredith Millen, marketing & communications coordinator, says these longtime partners have greater ability to raise funds than other partners.

Of the allocations/investment for 2017, the largest ($75,000) is to New Directions, the umbrella organization formed after the city of Myrtle Beach became enthralled with the concepts outlined in the book “Toxic Charity.” People receiving assistance must be in programs that will lead to employment and housing. Many people do not agree with this approach and continue to support programs such as Community Kitchen, which the city stopped funding. In recent months, New Directions absorbed Myrtle Beach Haven, which had resisted joining New Directions. In 2016, Myrtle Beach Haven received $24,500 from the United Way and for 2017, that is part of the $75,000 to New Directions, which received $33,000 from United Way in 2016.

Friendship Medical Center is allocated $62,500, the same amount as last year. Helping Hand of Myrtle Beach will receive $52,500, a slight increase from a year ago. CAP (Churches Assisting People) in Conway will receive $34,200, unchanged, and North Strand Helping Hand $36,000, up from $32,500. Community Kitchen is allocated $19,000, a $2,400 increase from United Way. The North Strand Housing Shelter is allocated $19,500, an increase of $1,500; Prosperity Center $32,000 (+$2,700) the Salvation Army $24,000 (+$2,100). Children’s Mentoring will receive $30,400, $600 less than a year ago.

Three nonprofits funded in 2016 did not receive United Way allocations. The Horry County Council on Aging is focusing on a capital campaign; Horry County Literacy Council is in a reorganization; S.C. Autism Society, Inc., did not apply.

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