COVID-19 has created challenges for many businesses and organizations, and United Way Tar River Region has not been immune to this.

We have found our Community Campaign challenged this year, and as a result, we are anticipating a shortfall in reaching our $1.1 million goal. Though we have implemented new and innovative online strategies, communication touchpoints and other efforts to connect with workplace giving campaigns and donors, we are finding that dollars raised, compared to year’s past, are trending much lower.

We are actively working to minimize this deficit by outreach to our corporate partners and other donors.

This financial shortfall will have far-reaching negative impacts on our community members with the reduction of human service programs available to help them. With the unprecedented strain caused by COVID-19, United Way and our nonprofit partners have been called to help stabilize our community.

United Way remains so grateful for the campaign support and the extra COVID-19 funds that have been donated and distributed into our community. Now we are working to ensure that our nonprofits have the support they need going forward to provide everyday services and ongoing programs to combat the effects of COVID-19.

United Way Tar River Region has displayed very strong financial accountability through the years, including an extremely low overhead rate of 15 percent or less. As a result, we have been able to minimize revenue shortfalls in the past — however, this current shortfall will create vulnerabilities. Our United Way acts as a backbone for our nonprofits and community, and we want to ensure we are here, strong and ready to help those in need.

This fundraising deficit will have real consequences that impact our most fragile, including children, youth and families and other special populations. For example, we will see reductions in meal/food support, income/self-sufficiency programs, school/youth programming and services that help promote independent living for our seniors, domestic violence survivors, people living with disabilities and those rebounding from trauma, disaster or equity imbalances.

As an organization, we are working now to connect with corporate partners to raise funds to help minimize this campaign shortfall. You may hear about a Corporate Outreach Campaign being led by our Board of Directors, where the funds raised will go 100 percent to support our program funding through United Way in Education, Health and Income/Self-Sufficiency.

United Way’s Community Campaign funding is the life blood for our organization doing such good work in our community. For a nonprofit like United Way, it is not about profit, it is about people. In our case, it is about utilizing donations to help people through vital, local programs that touch all quality of life issues. It is about children having educational programs, fragile citizens having housing and food and people having access to health programs and medications to keep them well.

United Way is truly about the power of people coming together for that common purpose of lifting up our community and creating a higher quality of life for our family, friends and neighbors. Please consider providing your support now by donating through our website at or by contacting me at the United Way office to learn how you can to get involved with our fundraising outreach.

Ginny Mohrbutter is the executive director of the United Way Tar River Region.

Ginny Mohrbutter is the executive director of United Way Tar River Region.