Turnover at local United Way
The board is hoping to increase its profile (and giving) across the community.
Not only has United Way of Rome and Floyd County Director Rich Lampkin resigned, but longtime marketing and fund raising assistant Brooks Smith has also tendered his resignation. United Way Board Chairman Bryan Shealy said the executive board of the United Way is having to step up and manage day-to-day operations of the agency until new leadership is brought on board.
Shealy said the board of the United Way had dwindled to just a handful of working members, but has been rebuilt over the last several months. The United Way has not had as high a profile in the community as it once had, even though it still supports agencies, many of them highly dependent on the United Way for large segments of their annual budget.
“I was a little but surprised when I was talking to a lady who I knew very well the other day who is right at 40, and she said, ‘I know the term United Way but I can’t tell you what they do,’” Shealy said. He said a lot of people under the age of 40 may have heard about the United Way but have very little concept of what the agency does.
“We’ve got to get the word out,” Shealy said.
The United Way is currently in the midst of its annual campaign.
Shealy said that board members will also be contacting all of the local agencies to tell them that it’s going to be business as usual and the agency is planning to continue forward.
Northwest Georgia Boy Scouts Executive Jeff Brasher said his organization receives funding from the Rome, Dalton, Calhoun and Cartersville United Way campaigns and it amount to about 11 percent of his annual budget. The scout executive added Lampkin and Smith had both been very good to the Boys Scouts through the years. Brasher said funding has remained steady in recent years but realizes that more agencies are seeking for from the United Way and that there was a limited pool of money to draw from.
Local YMCA Executive Scott McCreless said that United Way funding, a little over $30,000 accounts for about two percent of his budget. “We’ve always had a good relationship with the United Way,” McCreless said. “Funds we get from the United Way help us keep kids in camp, keeping kids in memberships, putting kids in youth sports programs as well as senior adults who want memberships,” McCreless said.
Shealy said a lot has changed when it comes to charitable giving.
“There used to be a lot of competition between one company and another to have greater giving percentages, greater amounts given, and those type of things seem to have gone by the wayside,” Shealy said. “We know that our giving efforts have to change and our solicitation efforts have to change We’ve got to have some new fun ideas and new ways of thinking.”
Shealy said the search for new leadership will be both local and national.
“There may be a director or assistant director somewhere that wants a change of climate,” he said.
The United Way provides support for the local chapter of the American Red Cross, the Boy Scouts’ Northwest Georgia Council, the Boys & Girls Clubs, the Exchange Club Family Resource Center, the Girls Scouts, Hospitality House, Mercy Senior Care, the Open Door Home, The Salvation Army, YMCA, Cave Spring Daycare, Network Day Service Center, Rebecca Blaylock Child Development Center, Senior Adult Recreation Center, STAR House, House of the Children Academy, Summit Quest and the Rome-Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth.