CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charities -- from those that put food on families' tables to those who protect abused women and children -- could all take a major financial hit following an announcement by the Charlotte-area United Way.
On Monday, the United Way sent a letter to the community stating it is cutting funding to Impact Grant partners by 25 percent.
United Way of Central Carolinas' President and CEO Laura Clark said it will be reducing expenses by $1 million.
"This change will take place over an 18-month transition period in 2019 to 2020. Our decision to make these changes was extremely difficult. We are doing so now, while we are still in a healthy financial position, so we can focus on our community's future," Clark said.
Clark is optimistic that Charlotte will rise to the challenge and fill the gap.
"Losing this money for our community, very practically, means that you're going to see nonprofits contract, and fewer people are going to get services as a result," Clark said.
The United Way said donations have declined since the recession.
"People want to give differently than they used to,” Clark said. “It's more about the broad array of choices that people have to give and the ease of giving."
The organization uses the donations to help fund local charity groups.
Clark also said people are giving less to health and human services organizations.
Deronda Metz, of the Salvation Army, said the Center of Hope shelter is a recipient of United Way funds.
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They receive $300,000, Metz said.
“That’s a huge amount of money and for critical services, we provide in our community, especially with homeless people during this affordable housing crisis."
Clark is confident the community will help.
"We would never want to discourage any kind of philanthropic giving, but I think what I want the community to understand is the unique value of United Way and this group of 73 agencies that we hold to a really high standard,” Clark said.