It’s looking more likely that the United Way of Fort McMurray will not reach their 2017 Community Campaign goal.
The goal is set at $7.1 million but with just over two weeks left they’ve only received about 61 per cent and are projecting a total of just $5.6 million.
Campaign Chair Steve Yatauro told reporters at a campaign announcement they’re not disappointed with the potential outcome but more excited to be able to receive any amount of funds.
“We’ve had so many people step up, so much generosity – when you look at $5.6 million and you look at the number of residents in the Wood Buffalo region, it’s still amongst, if not the top, in terms of per capita donations.”
The money being raised will help their 31 member agencies fund programs they’ve offered to the public in years past. Some of the agencies include the Centre of Hope, Salvation Army, and Stepping Stones Youth Home.
Yatauro says more member agencies are also looking to join this year with the total amount of funds being asked for increasing by more than $1 million from 2016.
“I look at it as a challenge, we knew this wasn’t going to be easy going in, it never is, but I think when you reflect back on why we have these campaigns it’s all about meeting the greatest needs in our community and with that is a challenge.
“I think our agencies understand where we at, I hope they feel very strongly that we’re doing anything we can to help deliver the programs they need.”
As to why they’re seeing fewer donations, Yatauro notes certain smaller workplace campaigns weren’t able to reach goals that were met in previous years.
He adds the usual big-name contributors, such as industry, were very consistent with their donations when comparing to past years.
In 2016, they received $6.3 million but the goal was helped by some big donations near the end of the campaign.
“We knew going in that wasn’t something we necessarily could count on sustaining so that’s the biggest difference in what we’re seeing and we’re by no means rolling out the fact that generosity comes at different times during the year.”
Yatauro says they’re also extending the donation deadline from November 17 to the end of the year.