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Dallas Boy Scouts Losing United Way Funding

By Jason Allen, CBS 11 News
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The United Way of Dallas is expected to announce funding recipients Wednesday morning that, for the first time in decades, will not include groups like the Boy Scouts and the Volunteer Center of North Texas.

Both groups told CBS 11 they were among as many as 20 organizations informed they did not meet new critera, and would not be among those which received grants.

The Volunteer Center will miss out on $250,000, about six percent of its budget.

The Boy Scout Circle 10 Council, which covers 11 North Texas counties, expects to miss out on up to $290,000. That number could grow closer to $500,000 because the Boy Scouts won’t be included on the United Way’s fall fundraising drive.

Boy Scout CEO Pat Currie, whose group had relied on United Way funding for 60 to 70 years, said the organization will have to look to the community to make up the shortfall.

“We did see that it was going to be somewhat of a difficult fit with their goals and objectives but we did believe that ScoutReach program in particular did fit,” he said Tuesday from a national scouting conference in California.

The ScoutReach program emphasizes urban and rural scouting.

The United Way has new criteria for funding that went into effect this year. Instead of funding only specific partner groups, the application process was opened up to all non-profits. Programs had to fit into one of three designated focus areas of education, income and health.

A United Way spokesman said there were more than 300 applicants and volunteer groups spent more than 17,000 hours reviewing applications and performing site visits.

The new criteria for funding was designed so donors could see a more immediate impact from their money. United Way CEO Gary Godsey said Tuesday the organization had worked with groups on understanding the new criteria and tried to prepare them for the possibility they may not meet the new standards.

Some, he said, are already working to refine their programs to better meet the new standards and could reapply when the process for 2012 funding opens in August.

Still, many organizations were caught off guard by the move.  Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Texas CEO Charles Pierson & President Donald Carty sent CBS 11 a statement Wednesday stating:

“We are greatly disappointed to learn that Big Brothers Big Sisters has been declined funding by the United Way.  Big Brothers Big Sisters was one of the original 19 agencies that created the Community Chest in Dallas that became our United Way. We have been well aware of their changes in funding criteria, and we believe that our educational programming fit those criteria well.  While our proven model of one-to-one mentoring has not changed, our educational programming surrounding our Little Steps Big Futures program is helping children stay in school, improve their academic performance, advance to the next grade level and seek post-secondary educational opportunities.  We are proud that our community recognizes the significance of the impact that we are making in changing the lives of children for the better, forever.

“The impact of this $200,000 shortfall in our budget will require us to look at new funding avenues to assist the more than 2,000 children currently waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister in Greater Dallas. It’s unfortunate that funding for a proven program with such a tremendously positive and lengthy track record of changing the lives of Dallas children would be eliminated by the United Way.

Several other organizations that traditionally receive money from United Way, including the Salvation Army, are expecting that not all of their grant applications will be approved.

The United Way executive committee approved the full list of funding applications in a meeting Wednesday.  They sent a release explaining the move Wednesday afternoon, including a list of the groups that will now be receiving funding. 

>>Click here to read the full United Way Grants Announcement<<

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