QUINCY -- United Way of Adams County is lagging behind in its annual campaign.
The campaign has brought in $858,000 -- around 78 percent of its $1.1 million goal -- falling almost $50,000 short of where it was at the same time last year. The campaign has raised $1 million or more annually for the past two decades.
"It's going to be tough," said Todd Bale, United Way executive director. "There are 45 days left in the campaign, and we're nowhere near $1.1 million."
The campaign will conclude at the end of February.
Bale believes complacency may be contributing to dwindling numbers. This year marks the 80th annual campaign. Launched in 1937, the first campaign saw 14,000 people participate and finished 15 percent above the $69,000 goal -- the equivalent of $1.157 million today. Around 4,000 people are currently participating in the annual campaign.
"Complacency can creep in," Bale said. "We just ask that everyone do what they can, whether that's $5,000 or $5."
United Way has already exhausted most of its funding sources, which means the campaign's $50,000 deficit could continue to grow as the deadline approaches. Bale expects that the campaign could conclude at least $100,000 short of its goal if something isn't done.
"We're trying to reconnect with folks who may have stopped giving," Bale said, "and we're reaching out to businesses who don't have a campaign."
Agency requests exceeded available funding by more than $230,000 in 2017. With the continued instability of state payments, United Way expects these requests to grow over the coming year.
"This area is home to very benevolent and caring people," Bale said. "We still hope that local companies and individuals will step up to help us reach our goal over the remaining two months."
Campaign proceeds fund 31 programs from 20 local organizations, impacting over 31,000 Adams County residents. Last year, 63 percent of those served were children. Over 99 percent of the money raised stays in the county.
United Way provides its own services -- like the HelpLine and VITA program -- and serves as fiscal agent for groups and programs such as the Quincy Area Partnership for Unment Needs, The Herald-Whig's Good News of Christmas and the Tri-State Warrior Outreach.
"Any business failure has consequences, but in the non-profit world, it's even more traumatic," Bale said. "Failure just can't be an option."
For more information on how an individual or company can help, call Maureen Hill at 217-222-5020 ext. 210, or email at email@example.com. Donations can also be made online at unitedwayadamsco.org.