United Ways announce plans to consolidate

Print Print
Thursday, January 19, 2012

— The United Way of North Rock County and the Stateline United Way on Wednesday announced plans to consolidate their efforts, hoping the plan will streamline their regional system for maximum efficiency.

Consolidation is expected to provide 15 percent more money to local agencies.

The group’s unified board will serve nearly 200,000 residents in communities across Rock County and northern Winnebago County, Ill. This year, Stateline allocated $1.14 million to 26 partners while North Rock County allocated $870,000 to 37 partners for 2012-13.

The move will allow more donor dollars to be spent directly on improving lives and strengthening communities, said Lynn Gardinier, board chairwoman of the United Way of North Rock County. Savings are expected mainly through operational expenses.

“As synergy thrives between our organizations, it makes sense to combine our strengths and resources to deliver the greatest impact to all the communities that we serve,” Gardinier said at a news conference Wednesday at Blackhawk Technical College.

Many details are yet to be determined, including where the organization’s office will be located and how many staff members it will employ, said Geoff Rand, chairman of the Stateline board.

“There may be some reductions in staff—it could be through attrition,” he said. “That’s part of our due diligence process that we’re going to go through in the next 12 months.”

Stateline has three full-time employees while North Rock County has four full-time and three part-time staff members.

A marketing subcommittee has formed to generate ideas and seek community input for the name of the united organization.

What is known is Steve Kinkade, executive director of the Stateline United Way, will serve as president of the unified organization, Rand said. Kinkade brings 40 years of United Way leadership experience “to provide trusted continuity for program partners and donors,” Rand said.

United Way of North Rock County President Ron Ochs will continue to lead the organization through 2012, and “assist in an advisory capacity for the implementation of the plan into 2013,” Rand said.

The executive committees of the two boards will work together to finalize consolidation plans, and each board will give final approval. The boards will plan the transition in 2012, and implementation is expected to be complete by Jan. 1, 2013.

Both agencies are planning parallel fundraising campaigns in 2012, and both will kick off in fall, as usual. The fund allocation process will remain the same—a committee of local volunteers will determine the best use of donors’ dollars, Gardinier said.

Kinkade said it makes sense to look at greater efficiencies through a joint effort. Countywide organizations are the more traditional model for most United Ways, he said.

The organizations informed their program partners of the move Wednesday.

The changes won’t affect the current budget cycles for the partners, Kinkade said. Fourteen partner agencies are members of both United Ways, so there will be savings for those agencies by only having to do one budget presentation, he said.

North Rock County has surpassed its fundraising goal only once in eight years since 2002, while Stateline has surpassed its goal in all but two years in the same time span.

“That wasn’t part of our discussion or consideration,” Kinkade said. “We were looking at more the operational—the efficiencies that could be generated by unifying the two organizations. That helped us come together and obviously moving forward, we’ll certainly work diligently to expand the fundraising process.”

Last updated: 7:17 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

Print Print