United Way ups area funding

United Way-funded nonprofit agencies in Cabarrus, Iredell and Mecklenburg counties are getting all or most of the money they requested for 2010-11 - in contrast to a year ago, when drastic cuts ruled the headlines.

Nearly all of the 96 health and human services agencies that partner with the Charlotte-based United Way of Central Carolinas in five counties will get funding increases beginning July 1, board chairman Jeff Kane said last week. The average increase is 17percent; the agencies took a 35percent cut on average last year.

Of the handful of nonprofits that will see less United Way support this year, most either didn't seek United Way money or had programs that were combined for greater efficiency, United Way officials said.

Powering the increase was the 2009 Community Care Fund campaign, which generated $14.8million in agency funding. That was a $2.8million increase over the previous year, officials said. In all, 93percent of total agency funding requests will be met this year.

"We're far from out of the woods, as agencies are still seeing record levels of need, while funding for most of them remains below peak levels," Kane said in announcing this year's United Way support. "But to be able to share positive news with just about every agency is an astounding difference from last year."

Cabarrus agencies will receive a total of $61,000 more this year from the United Way, a 5.2percent increase, according to United Way figures released last week.

Mooresville-Lake Norman agencies are getting a total of $81,000 more, a 9percent increase.

Cabarrus agencies are receiving a total of about $1.2 million from the United Way, while Mooresville-Lake Norman agencies will get about $981,000 altogether.

Cabarrus programs receiving the greatest percentage increases from the United Way include United Family Services' consumer credit counseling, from $9,400 to $12,400 (32 percent); Legal Services of Southern Piedmont's immigrant justice project in Cabarrus, from $8,000 to $10,000, or 25percent; Girl Scouts Hornets' Nest Council Cabarrus outreach, from $5,327 to $6,627 (24percent); and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte's Cabarrus efforts, from $5,800 to $6,800 (17percent).

Mooresville-Lake Norman programs with the greatest percentage increases were Diakonos Shelter services, from $14,700 to $21,635 (47percent); the Ada Jenkins Center LearnWorks program, from $25,704 to $37,044 (44percent); LifeSpan Arts & Gardens Enrichment for Mind, Body & Spirit, from $12,160 to $16,328 (34percent); LifeSpan Arts & Garden employment, from $8,000 to $10,500 (31percent); and Exchange/SCAN Child and Parenting Center, from $27,440 to $35,000 (nearly 28percent).

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