The 2017 Unity Campaign for Frederick County aims to raise $400,000 for 27 local social service agencies and charities.

Campaign organizer United Way of Frederick County revealed details of the annual fundraising campaign last week, according to Ken Oldham, United Way’s executive director. Oldham described the planned campaign as a “significant increase” over the previous year, both in the number of beneficiaries and the fundraising goal.

“We’re very excited to be able to include this many partners,” Oldham said Tuesday.

The 2016 campaign raised $350,000 for 19 area organizations that serve basic human needs and at-risk children.

Expanding the impact of the annual fundraiser was the intention behind the partnership with United Way, which was announced in the fall. In previous years, The Community Foundation of Frederick County has hosted the campaign.

The campaign began in 2014 as a way to support area charities by combining individual donations with matching funds from community sponsors.

As fiscal agent, the United Way will serve as the conduit through which people and businesses can donate to the campaign, and also help solicit donations and sponsorships from community organizations. United Way’s community impact committee, which includes members from its board of directors and local community leaders, also chose the 27 beneficiary charities, according to Alli Lanham, United Way’s director of advancement.

Recipients were selected through an application process open to all of the previous year’s recipients as well as other social service agencies that provide basic human needs services or those for at-risk youths in Frederick County, Lanham said. Twenty-nine groups sought funding from this year’s campaign.

Lanham highlighted the diversity among the 27 selected organizations. Participating agencies offer services ranging from health care to homeless shelters for clientele from Frederick County Public Schools to senior citizens.

New partner organizations this year include Building Veterans, a peer-based recovery support group for veterans; New Hope Community Partnership, which seeks to open a community center in Brunswick; and Monocacy Health Partners Dental Clinic, which offers dental services to the un- and under-insured.

The 2017 campaign will kick off July 1 with an event at Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium, according to Lanham. Donations will be accepted through the campaign website starting the same day, though a majority of the fundraising will be concentrated within the “12 Days of Giving” campaign from Sept. 13 to Sept. 24, Lanham said. People will also be able to donate on the Unity website starting July 1, Lanham said Tuesday.

A total of $32,500 in matching sponsor funds has already been pledged from four community organizations, Lanham said. The Frederick News-Post is a co-sponsor of the campaign.

Follow Nancy Lavin on Twitter: @NancyKLavin.

Nancy Lavin covers social services, demographics and religion for The Frederick News-Post.

(1) comment

gardenwhimsey

I stopped donating to the UnitedWay years ago following the scandal related to misappropriation of funds. I now donate directly to the charity I want to help.

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