Questions Surrounding United Way's Financial Accountability

A local agency whose mission is to help provide significant funding to area non-profits has not provided that funding for four months.

Thursday, the United Way of the Brazos Valley -- itself a non-profit -- announced the delinquent payments.

"During a lengthy and thorough review of our financials, United Way became aware of a trend that has led to a decrease in cash flow," a UWBV press release read. "This decrease has required a delay in payments to our partner agencies that provide vital services to many across our region."

The agencies were notified of the lack of payments by United Way in February. Thursday, they announced a payment would be made to the agencies Friday.

While donations to non-profits have been declining across the country due to the down economy, UWBV also notes "poor budget forecasting and insufficient accounting procedures performed by staff and the Board of Directors."

In the press release from Thursday, the organization announced new accounting procedures, including the hiring of a new firm to conduct a review of financials and to oversee them in the future.

More than 20 agencies in seven counties rely on the local United Way for fundraising efforts. According to their website, nearly 75 percent of the population served by the agencies UWBV helps fund are low-income families.

United Way of the Brazos Valley is set to address these issues further on Thursday. News 3 will have more on this story later on air and online here at KBTX.com.

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The following is the press release issued by the United Way of the Brazos Valley Thursday:

United Way of the Brazos Valley is committed to strengthen the community’s trust by being good stewards of the resources the public has entrusted to us. During a lengthy and thorough review of our financials, United Way became aware of a trend that has led to a decrease in cash flow. This decrease has required a delay in payments to our partner agencies that provide vital services to many across our region. United Way staff and its Board of Directors have completed the initial financial analysis and will make a payment to our funded partners on Friday, March 23, 2012.

There are two primary issues affecting the United Way as an organization, including:

1. An increasing gap between pledged funds and actual donations received in our Community Campaign, as well as the State Employee Charitable Campaign. We believe this is due to the economic downturn and job losses our area has experienced in the last few years.

2. Poor budget forecasting and insufficient accounting procedures performed by staff and the Board of Directors.

The United Way executive committee and finance committee have been meeting on a frequent basis to resolve these issues and develop our plan for moving forward.

Our plan includes:

1. We have hired the accounting firm Seidel, Schroeder & Co. as a consultant to help complete an internal review of financials for the last three years, and to improve our accounting procedures.

2. We are working on securing an engagement letter with a third party accounting firm to perform a mid-year review of our operational procedures and finances.

3. For the long term, we have also hired Seidel, Schroeder & Co. as our contract controller to ensure that we have professionally managed budgets, with appropriate detail so that staff and board members will know the financial health of the organization.

About United Way of the Brazos Valley

The United Way of the Brazos Valley has been a trusted community partner for almost 60 years and currently serves Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Leon, Madison, Robertson and Washington counties. United Way is known for bringing our community together to find solutions that change people’s lives. We do this in part by raising money and funding over 20 local nonprofit agencies who in turn provide health and human services to more than 250,000 neighbors. United Way focuses on Education, Financial Stability and Health - the building blocks for a good quality of life. Our vision is that the United Way will continue to be the community leader and trusted partner in the Brazos Valley.




 
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