Massachusetts United Way Must Cut Staff

THE United Way of Massachusetts Bay has had a tough year.

In its 1992 fund-raising campaign, the group raised $44 million, down more than $3 million from the previous year. As a result, it is having to cut 13 management positions and reduce its staff to 80 from 124 in 1990.

"Like the United Way of America [the parent organization], we're having to work differently," says Marian Heard, president and chief executive officer. "We have new campaign procedures, new cost controls. We've had to look at the whole internal and external operation."

"Compared with what's happening nationally, we did very well," adds spokeswoman Maureen Sullivan.

Ms. Heard says she has encouraged agencies that depend on United Way contributions to take whatever steps they must to shore up other revenue sources, with the understanding that the United Way cannot provide for all their needs.

The United Way of Massachusetts Bay sets aside 15 percent of the funds it raises for administrative and fund-raising costs. "If we could go beyond that, to 17 or 18 percent, it would be easier," Ms. Sullivan says. "But we've promised the community we would maintain 15 percent."

"We've cut and cut and cut and cut until finally it is staff [we're cutting]," she says.

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