ST. PAUL - The Greater Twin Cities United Way has cut staff, frozen salaries and reduced grants to social service programs this year, despite exceeding its fundraising goal by $2.2 million.
The organization announced last week it raised $87.6 million last year, with more than 105,000 people and organizations contributing. That is a decrease from the $98.6 million in total revenue reported in 2015, according to tax records.
Now complicating matters is the fact that more people than expected designated their donations to specific charities, meaning less was available for United Way-directed initiatives.
“We believe all giving is good and we encourage both types of contributions,” said Sarah Caruso, president and chief executive officer of the United Way. The targeting of donations to specific charities has been growing here and nationally in recent years.
The increase in such directed giving last year meant $6 million less for United Way-directed initiatives.
In response, the organization took several measures, including cutting its own budget 11 percent, primarily through job cuts and a salary freeze.
Even with the changes, the United Way will grant more than $75 million to 1,358 nonprofits in Minnesota this year