Stacks of funding applications await review by the United Way of Moffat County allocation committee. On Jan. 6, the organization announced it had received $498,000 in money and pledges from its fall campaign.

Photo by Ben McCanna

Stacks of funding applications await review by the United Way of Moffat County allocation committee. On Jan. 6, the organization announced it had received $498,000 in money and pledges from its fall campaign.

United Way campaign raises $498K in Moffat County

Corrie Ponikvar, executive director of the United Way of Moffat County, pointed to a long table in her Yampa Avenue office.

Heaps of papers covered the table’s surface.

The papers, she said, are applications from area nonprofit organizations — detailed requests for a portion of funds raised by United Way during its most recent campaign.

The 2011 campaign went well, Ponikvar said. The results were announced during the United Way board’s Jan. 6 meeting.

“We raised $498,000, so we made our goal,” Ponikvar said.

The campaign exceeded its $485,000 goal for the second consecutive year. The news came as a surprise to new United Way board president Joel Sheridan.

“We kept the goal the same because with the economic conditions, we thought, ‘It’s going to be rough times ahead,’” said Sheridan, who also became board president Jan. 6 after a stint as vice president. “And, boom, we met the goal and exceeded it again.

“It’s amazing and it’s quite a tribute to this community.”

Ponikvar said roughly $100,000 of the fundraising total is donor designated, meaning donors earmarked money for specific recipients.

The remaining money, however, will be distributed among applicants.

“We base the funding of each agency on the merit of their application,” Ponikvar said.

Over the next two months, board members will decide how the money is distributed and to what groups.

First an allocation committee will meet in early February to review applications and make recommendations.

Next, in early March, the committee’s recommendations will be presented to the full board. Afterward, letters are sent to applicants.

Sheridan said the allocations committee has a tough job. He speaks from experience, having served on the committee before.

“When I was first on the allocations committee, I thought, ‘This is going to be a fun job because we have roughly a half million dollars and we can spread it around,’” he said. “Then when I got in there, I realized that even though it’s a lot of money — and an outstanding effort on the part of this community — it’s still not enough to go around.

“It tugs at you because you listen to these organizations and people are doing a lot of good things and you’d like to give them all the money you could.”

Sheridan said applications for each organization include a financial statement and a statement of goals.

Although the total amount from the fall campaign is surprising, Sheridan said the level of giving embodies Moffat County’s character.

“The community, first of all, just has an attitude of not giving up,” Sheridan said. “That’s just the hard core of this community.

“I was talking with a person from another nonprofit organization and he said, ‘You know, people don’t want to pay $25 in taxes, but they’ll donate $100 to do what they think it takes to make it right.’”

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