Faster pace of giving propels United Way toward its goal

December 23, 1992

After a lackluster start, the United Way of Central Maryland seems to be gaining momentum in its annual fund-raising drive.

Donations more than doubled in the past month, from $12.8 million to $28.3 million, a spokesman said. United Way, which started the campaign Sept. 23, has until Jan. 31 to reach its goal of $40 million.

"We think the message is getting out," spokesman Mel Tansill said. "Perhaps the anxiety level over the economy is finally over."

United Way officials have maintained that Maryland's weak economy was their biggest concern going into the 1992 campaign.

But the scandal about William Aramony, the president of the United Way of America who was forced to resign after revelations about his extravagant business expenses, may also be harming the fund-raising effort.

United Way of America is a trade organization that provides services to the local chapters.

Results from completed campaigns throughout the country show mixed results, according to the local United Way organization, ranging from a 10.3 percent increase in Orlando, Fla., to a 9.5 percent decrease in Cleveland.

Of the 26 cities surveyed, 12 showed losses. And most of the gains were relatively modest, in the 1 percent to 4 percent range, the local United Way said.

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