United Way Terminates Partnership With REACH

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The United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties has announced the termination of its partnership with Cannon County REACH, due to the program's decision to not maintain a 501(c)3 IRS status.
The United Way enters into contract every fiscal year with each of its affiliated agencies and initiatives. This contract requires those agencies to "maintain its status as a nonprofit, charitable organization and to conduct its operation in a manner which neither will jeopardize the tax deductibility (of contributions to the Agency or United Way) under state and federal law nor the exemption under federal income tax and estate tax laws."
"We are saddened to be forced to end our partnership with Cannon County REACH as an affiliated agency of the United Way because we do recognize the valuable services it provides to the community," said Brian Hercules, President and CEO of the local United Way. "However, our charge is to operate an accountable, efficient, and transparent organization, which involves guaranteeing our donors the ability to classify their charitable contributions to United Way as tax deductible."
Cannon County REACH had originally been allocated $22,000 by local United Way volunteers in the spring of 2011. This allotment would have began to pay out on July 1, 2011, however with the organization not maintaining its 501(c)3 status, that funding will not be granted.
The United Way will reallocate those funds to compensate for the loss of the national Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) funding this year, which is granted to counties based on factors such as unemployment rates and poverty rates. Local organizations had the ability to apply for those funds during the spring of 2011 prior to learning from the national EFSP that Congress would not be appropriating funding to Cannon County during this phase.
"While this situation is unfortunate in terms of losing Cannon County REACH as a partner agency, a positive factor will be the ability to provide funding to local organizations who thought they had lost funding from EFSP this year," said John McLaughlin, Chair of Community Impact for the local United Way. "We are happy to be able to turn this situation into a positive result for other Cannon County organizations who are in need."
For additional information regarding United Way, including a listing of its affiliated agencies and programs, please visit www.uwrutherford.org.
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Members Opinions:
November 10, 2011 at 5:52pm
And WHY did they do this and not comply to get the funds available??? Someone fill me in on this??
November 11, 2011 at 8:43am
Junebug18: This is due to the fact that the previous head of REACH did not file for the last three years with the IRS in order to keep their 501(c)3 status. This is a required process.

With this lack of funding the question comes now how much more is this going to cost the county? Without the 501(c)3 it will make it harder for REACH to receive the grants that they need to continue to run. Because of mismanagement our kids suffer again. This is a shame.
November 11, 2011 at 10:53am
I have to ask the question on why it took three years before someone finally noticed that the 501(c)3 status was in question?

Who did the former director report to during that time period?

Also, the question needs to be asked if it canot be efficiently run by the county government then would the school board be a better idea to manage it?
November 11, 2011 at 11:52am
"Who did the former director report to during that time period?"

It has been my understanding that REACH, like SAVE, the Senior Center and the Library, has a board of directors.

"Also, the question needs to be asked if it canot be efficiently run by the county government then would the school board be a better idea to manage it?"

I have been told that REACH was established under the county government by former County Executive Bush because the school system did not want it. To my knowledge that sentiment has not changed.
November 11, 2011 at 11:56am
Corey: I have often wondered why this did not fall under the school board. It is a related to school and was termed an after school program. I have had ill feelings towards this program for a few years as my kids did not get the tutoring that the program advertised itself as to begin with. My family had to spend over $6k on my two kids because they did not get the reading help from the program that they needed. I even found several times were someone else did their homework for them. It seems to me that the program needs a reboot and a department that is in charge of education needs to be over it.
November 11, 2011 at 6:53pm
REACH having a board of directors is news to me. I never knew the former director to report to anyone on a board. Everything I ever read or heard discussions about had nothing to do with her reporting to a board.

I am sure you are correct that there is a board for REACH, which I don't dispute. Who would be the Chairman of the Board? Do you know?

I personally have helped REACH secure thousands of dollars worth of grant money over the years and I find it a shame that the program has sunk to this level. What a loss for the students.

Obviously it was not run efficiently by the current REACH board or it wouldn't be in this shape, so sentiment or not, the school board couldn't do much worse.

I guess in essence what is being said is, the county can't run it and the school don't want it so the students get the short end of the stick.

Nice philosophy!
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