United Way sets $6 million fundraising target

Non-profit supports nearly 70 organizations that deliver social programs to Capital Region

The United Way of Greater Victoria hopes to raise $6 million in the next year to provide financial support to nearly 70 social programs throughout the region.

“This community is incredibly generous and we have high hopes that we will exceed the goal,” said campaign chair John Guthrie at Wednesday’s unveiling at Ogden Point.

From transitional housing to anti-bullying initiatives in schools to drug rehabilitation, the United Way works with community partners to identify the most pressing community issues.

Registered charities can apply for grants for specific projects that help address those issues, and a panel of community experts selects eligible partners and monitors the funds.

Recipients of United Way funding include AIDS Vancouver Island, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria, Pacifica Housing Advisory Association, Victoria Cool Aid Society and the Conservatory of Music.

The campaign raised $5.9 million in 2011 with the help of over 1,000 volunteers in 500 workplaces and individual community donors.

In the past year, United Way funding helped deliver 117 programs and services to the community’s most vulnerable people through 68 partners.

Guthrie said funding requests exceeded available resources by nearly two to one last year.

“The need is great, we know that,” he said.

“Many of our community partners aren’t able to provide some important programs for people to get the help when they need it.”

dpalmer@vicnews.com