United Way of Central New Mexico again defied a weak economy by raising a record $27.2 million to support hundreds of charitable groups, topping last year’s total by more than $1 million, the campaign announced Thursday.
“New Mexicans get it,” said Joanne Fine, a United Way spokeswoman. “In New Mexico, people can see the problem in front of them and they feel compelled. They want to help their neighbors.”
An estimated 35,000 individual donors pledged a total of $27,205,000 this year, up 4 percent from the 2011 record of $26,157,000, United Way officials said during an event at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
Donors included 4,500 individuals who gave $1,000 or more. They include 557 Tocqueville Society members who pledged at least $10,000 each.
Employee pledges topped $1 million each at Sandia National Laboratories, Intel Corp., Presbyterian Healthcare Services and University of New Mexico/UNM Hospital.
About 61 percent of United Way campaign pledges are designated for some 4,600 nonprofits identified by the donor. Undesignated pledges, which account for about one-fifth of all donations, provide grants for nonprofit agencies that apply through a competitive process, Fine said.
This year, 130 nonprofits have applied to United Way for community fund grants. A team consisting of about 300 United Way volunteers inspect each nonprofit and recommend which should receive grant funding, Fine said.
Some of the nonprofits that received community fund grants last year include Roadrunner Food Bank, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central New Mexico, Goodwill Industries of New Mexico, St. Martin’s Hospitality Center, the Arc of New Mexico, The Salvation Army, and PB&J Family Services.
Demand for private funding has increased in recent years as a weak economy has pinched the flow of state and federal money, said Bob Murphy, executive director of the Economic Forum and the major gifts development board chairman.
“United Way has never been so important for services they offer,” Murphy said of the nonprofits. “I think this has been one of the most challenging years.”
— This article appeared on page A1 of the Albuquerque Journal