United Way groups consider joining forces

By Mike Linn

Officials with the Curry and Roosevelt County United Ways are entertaining the idea of merging the two charitable organizations.
Citing difficulties meeting set goals the last two years, RCUW President Rick Hauptmann said his organization could be more effective and raise more money if the merger took place.
“When we talked to them they were receptive to the idea,” Hauptmann said. “We’re in the process of discussing it now.”
Hauptmann said he believes having a full-time staff member in Roosevelt County the organization could raise probably double the $62,000 raised this past year. The RCUW’s goal for the year was $70,000. In 2002, the RCUW also fell about $10,000 short of its goal.
By contrast, the CCUW raised over $350,000, Hauptmann said.
“If we had somebody devoting a lot more attention to the campaign in Roosevelt County then we could raise a substantially greater amount of money than we’ve been raising,” said Hauptmann, whose organization is all volunteers.
Without the merger, Hauptmann said it would be too expensive to support a full-time staff member in Portales.
Moreover, of the 12 agencies supported by the RCUW, eight of those agencies are also supported by the Curry County United Way.
Erinn Burch, executive director of the CCUW, said she is receptive to the idea, noting the merger would benefit the agencies serviced by United Way more than anything.
Burch said the past few years Roosevelt County’s campaign has been stagnate, but the merger may allow for an additional full-time campaign member to help solicit funds from Roosevelt County residents.
The CCUW has two full-time staff members, Burch and a campaign employee.
“I think it’s pretty easy to see the benefits to Roosevelt County in having some staff input,” Burch said. “But it’s definitely in the residents of Curry County’s best interest to have a vibrant and successful campaign happening in Roosevelt County and that’s part of the reason why we in Curry County are interested in discussing this.”