Significant changes may be coming in the approach the United Way of Burlington and Greater Hamilton raises money and spends it. It is expected the United Way will seek to raise $6.8 Million this year—about the same as last—but the emphasis will be more on the impact its program have on people than on a dollar amount. The traditional fundraising thermometer has been scrapped. “The workplace fundraising campaign will still be our staple,” said UW Executive Director Jeff Vallentin, “ but we will also be going after foundation-type giving, which takes place year-round.” The change in focus will also affect the 63 agencies and 117 programs that are currently funded. The goal will be to try to get more impact by concentrating the resources across fewer programs. “We’ve been talking to our agencies over the past year,” said Vallentin. “Funding is committed for this year, but we may have to make changes.”
Earlier this year a motion to merge the Hamilton-Burlington United way with those in Milton, Halton Hills and Oakville narrowly failed to obtain the two-thirds majority needed, but discussions on a possible future merger are ongoing. Vallentin says such mergers are becoming the norm in the charitable sector as the fundraising environment become increasingly challenging.

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