United Way of Central Md. seeks to run charitys federal campaign

D.C.-area chapter afflicted by financial irregularities

February 14, 2003|By Kate Shatzkin SUN STAFF

Hoping to take the reins from a Washington-area chapter that is in disarray, the United Way of Central Maryland will apply to manage a huge charity campaign for government workers in and around the capital.

Both organizations say the application is an agreed-on attempt to keep the areas $50 million Combined Federal Campaign under the United Way umbrella.

The United Way of the National Capital Area has been reeling from disclosures of financial irregularities. Auditors of its federal campaign found more than $100,000 in questionable expenses and said the United Way kept more than $1 million that it should have distributed to charities.

Temporarily ceding management of the federal campaign to another agency will allow our United Way to focus all our efforts on the reinvention of the organization, the rebuilding of our private sector campaign, and allow time for all internal and external investigations of the past to conclude in short, to take a year off and come back strong, focused and rededicated, Robert Egger, interim executive vice president of the Washington chapter, said in a statement yesterday.

The Central Maryland chapters application to run the campaign may face competition from other charities eager to break United Ways hold on workplace solicitation. The Washington-area United Way was paid about $2.3 million to run the 2002 federal campaign.

Melissa Allen, interim chairwoman of the coordinating committee that takes bids to run the campaign, said she did not know yesterday if others had been received.

The Central Maryland United Way, which covers Baltimore City and Baltimore, Harford, Howard, Carroll and Anne Arundel counties, manages a local campaign for federal workers that raised $5.1 million in 2001.

The National Capital federal campaign includes workers from Prince Georges, Montgomery, Charles and Calvert counties, as well as the District of Columbia and Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties in Virginia.

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