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Thursday, July 23, 2009

United Way Funding for West County - LETTER

Dear Editor,

In response to Donna Roper’s letter last week inquiring about United Way’s funding decisions relative to West County, I would like to provide some context and background on our organization’s funding strategy.

United Way’s community-led funding teams carefully consider the multitude needs and concerns in our community as they make funding decisions each year. During our last fiscal year, our organization made substantial and increased funding commitments to the community, contingent on us meeting fundraising targets. However, because of the challenging economic environment, we did not meet those fundraising targets, and yet the Board made the decision to virtually deplete its reserves to uphold our funding commitments to the community. And now, because economic and fundraising challenges are expected to continue, United Way’s Board of Directors has made the prudent yet very difficult decision to reduce funding commitments for our current fiscal year.

I would like to emphasize that we remain steadfast in our primary goal: to create opportunities for a better life for everyone. We do this by identifying, analyzing and addressing our community’s needs. Sometimes this requires difficult decisions but we firmly believe that the work we are doing requires collaboration across all sectors. Working together, we can accomplish things that no organization, no individual and no government can accomplish on its own.

As part of United Way’s commitment to address our community’s needs, we are holding a series of community aspiration sessions in Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties this week. This will be an opportunity to identify the current issues and needs that we face as a community. The sessions are a challenge to the community to envision how it can be an even better place to live and develop a plan to collectively achieve that vision. Details on those sessions can be found on United Way of the Wine Country’s website:

Together, united, we can inspire hope and create opportunities for a better tomorrow.

Steve Farmiloe, Chair
United Way of the Wine Country

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