United Way Alice (copy)

Ken Oldham, CEO of the United Way of Frederick County.

The United Way of Frederick County announced Monday that it is moving its annual Unity Campaign to the spring.

Typically a mid-September fundraiser to support local nonprofit organizations, the Unity Campaign will move to March 10-21 in 2021.

“This was a decision that was made before [COVID-19],” Ken Oldham, CEO of United Way of Frederick County, said in a phone interview with the News-Post.

“Normally, the fall time frame is busy with other activities, particularly when it comes to National Recovery Month. For a number of reasons, we were looking at the spring, and there is not as much going on in the spring. So, we thought it was going to be a good change. Not to mention, many of the nonprofits we work with need cash flow going into summer. So, there was more opportunity in the spring with less competition.”

Oldham said he does not anticipate the change of dates to impact the Unity Campaign, which supports more than 30 nonprofit organizations annually.

He said the pre-campaign fundraising has reached record levels, with $97,000 already committed through incentive funds and six months to go to raise more.

Last year, United Way of Frederick County raised $91,000 through incentive funds, Oldham said.

“We have already raised more money than we did all of last year and we still have some time to go,” he said. “We are very excited about that.”

The Unity Campaign was launched in 2014 on the foundation of two previous fundraising efforts, Frederick 48 and The Frederick News-Post’s Season of Hope campaign.

In 2017, the United Way of Frederick County moved to adopt the Unity Campaign, and The News-Post remains a partner in the effort.

Last year, the Unity Campaign raised more than $590,000 for the Frederick community through the nonprofits it supports.

The campaign supports nonprofits that serve asset-limited, income-constrained and employed individuals in need of food, shelter, clothing, child care, housing and health care.

The 2021 Unity Campaign request for proposals opened for nonprofits on Monday and will be available at www.unitedwayfrederick.org/unitycampaign.

Questions can be directed to Oldham at koldham@uwfrederick.org or 240-578-4006.

Follow Greg Swatek on Twitter: @greg_swatek.

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