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United Way of Tarrant County tells agencies to expect less money

FORT WORTH -- The United Way of Tarrant County has told member agencies that its annual fundraising campaign has brought in $1.1 million less than the previous year.

The shortfall means that the "reduction in core allocations will be deeper than anticipated and the increases in impact funding will be lower," says the letter, dated May 7.

The letter says that the 2011 campaign has raised $21.4 million, which is $600,000 short of the $22 million goal.

Final totals from the 2011 campaign will be announced next month, said Tim McKinney, president of the United Way of Tarrant County.

"That's not our final figure," McKinney said of the $21.4 million. "Money is still coming in."

He said the letter was intended to help the nonprofits plan their next-year budgets better. Dozens of agencies, ranging from Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth to Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County, receive United Way funding.

Ann Rice, the United Way's chief operating officer and author of the letter, blamed the drop in donations on the economy.

"We knew it was going to be a tough year going in," she said Tuesday. "I'm constantly amazed at how generous this community is, even in very tough times. We don't like to be down, ever, and the needs are always greater than the goals we set. But it's still a lot of money to have raised."

In 2010, the campaign narrowly exceeded its goal of $22.5 million by raising $22.51 million. But officials scaled back the 2011 goal to $22 million after consulting with donors, including companies and business leaders. The United Way also fell short of 2008 and 2009 goals.

The United Way board plans to discuss funding recommendations for local organizations June 19 and will let officials know by mail July 1 how much to expect, Rice said.

The Arc of Greater Tarrant County, which provides services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, relies on the United Way for about 15 percent of its budget, Executive Director Erinn Hall said.

"Our United Way funding goes toward all of our case management that we provide," Hall said. "Unfortunately, cuts of any magnitude will lead to some of these services being scaled back, but we will be spending as much time as necessary trying to recoup and compensate for those cuts."

Jessamy Brown, 817-390-7326

Twitter: @jessamybrown

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