With a month remaining in the 2012 fundraising campaign, the
United Way of Loudon County and its 33 partner agencies may be facing an additional funding
shortfall if it does not match its goal of $475,000.
The campaign, which wraps up in late
February, is still $150,000 short of that mark. United Way recently sent a letter to potential
donors soliciting funds.
"A lot of the shortfall is coming from out-of-county designations,"
Judy Fenton, executive director with the United Way, said, adding that the security breach at Y-12
National Security Complex last summer, along with numerous other factors, played a part in the
funding downturn. She said funding from Y-12 would be down about $10,000.
has been on the election and the fiscal cliff and the potential increase in their taxes," Fenton
She said local nonprofit organizations continue to be pinched in funding from state and
federal sources, and the United Way’s failure to meet its goal would compound the
"I think now more than ever our agencies have already been greatly impacted from
reductions in state and federal funding, so this would just be on top of that," Fenton
Two nonprofits that could be affected include the Tellico Village Computer Users Club
and the Tellico Village Volunteer Fire Department.
Warren Sanders, chairman of the computer
group's Technology Access Program, said the organization has donated about 2,000 computers to local
"Oh absolutely," Sanders said when asked if a potential United Way funding
shortfall could impact his organization. "We provided computer in-home technology to over 1,000
children last year, and without United Way's help, I don't know how much that would drop
Sanders said TAP gets about 40 percent of its money from the United Way. The
organization also has a grant writer that solicits funding requests, noting that club members have
briefly discussed steps it would take if the nonprofit didn't get its full allocation from United
"There's been some informal talk about it because we had heard that United Way was
falling short," Sanders said. "We haven't put together any concrete plans. I'm not quite sure what
we would do if we did get cut back severely, but we'll just do the best we can."
Tellico Village Volunteer Fire Department Chief Don Skalecki said his office has requested $7,000 in
United Way funding to purchase two 800-megahurtz radios to replace the department's 400-megahurtz
"What we'll be able to do is use that if we get the money from United Way to put one
in each of our fire engines, so if we have to go on a mutual aid call, we'll be able to have radio
contact with one another," Skalecki said.
In July 2011, the fire department purchased a new
truck, which included a compressed air foam system. Money from the United Way was used for the CAFS
"The first day that this truck was commissioned we used it on a car fire," Wayne
Tinder, a volunteer with the department, said, adding that the purchase was "very
Fenton said the Tellico Village branch of the United Way has raised more than $1
million since 1991. The Village has drummed up $83,000 during this campaign, which is $1,300 off its
She said it was going to be "really tough" for the United Way to reach its overall goal
for the 2012 campaign.
"It's a real stretch this year, and we need as much help from
everybody that we can get," Fenton said. "Every donation counts whether it's $5 to $1,000. It all
counts, and it makes a difference to Loudon County."
Two of the largest corporate donors in
Loudon have included Tate & Lyle and Kimberly-Clark. Tate & Lyle gave $56,637 during this
campaign, up significantly from the previous year, while Kimberly-Clark contributed
Fenton said other branches of the United Way in East Tennessee were also struggling
to meet goals.
"It looked like at the beginning of this year, it was going to be really
great, but the closer we got into election and fiscal debate and stuff like that it slowed," Fenton
said. "... All of the counties that surround us, Monroe, Roane, Knox, Greene, Blount, are all
impacted pretty much the same way."