United Way of Eastern New Mexico is outdoing itself this year, outperforming last year’s fund-raising drive with a little less than a month to go, according to Executive Director Erinn Burch.
Sitting at approximately 59 percent of the goal, Burch said $310,237 had been raised as of Wednesday. This year’s goal for Curry and Roosevelt counties is $525,000.
The next few weeks will be about collecting and tallying work-place campaign returns and wrapping up individual donations. Burch said she feels things are on track and is optimistic the goal will be realized. “We’re getting there,” she said.
Last year low returns forced directors to extend fund-raising deadlines with collections lagging $150,000 by comparison to current earnings.
Hopeful funds set for this year include $455,000 allocated to Curry County groups and $70,000 to be directed to programs and agencies in Roosevelt County, Burch said.
Each year varies, Burch said, explaining she believes multiple factors influenced last year’s lag including natural disasters and concerns over the future of Cannon Air Force Base.
Work-place campaigns have traditionally and continue to be the largest one-stop sources for fund-raising and bring in two-thirds of donations, Burch said.
Eastern New Mexico University has shown the largest growth in numbers along with Portales Municipal Schools while job cut-backs have reduced returns from Plains Regional Medical Center, she reported.
Typically the schools are top performing entities in the drive, she explained.
“We’ve had strong campaigns in the schools again. ENMU has had a real great year (for donations), they did almost 80 percent more than they did last year. Last year Clovis Municipal Schools set the mark, this year they did a little bit less and we have lost some ground at the hospital,” she said.