United Way of Denton County Hosts Nonprofit Convening to Plan for 2021

Gary Henderson and Marci Pritts

Led by United Way of Denton County, 16 nonprofits were represented to learn about the United Way of Texas’ Built for Texas Report, which highlights the impact and opportunity of the nonprofit sector.

United Way of Denton County hosted a nonprofit convening with 16 organizations from across Denton County to review the “Built for Texas” report from United Ways of Texas and Onestar Foundation and discuss how the nonprofit sector can advocate for legislative infrastructure support as they look to 2021.

The report demonstrated the economic impact of Texas nonprofits, especially in the North Texas region where 33% of Texas nonprofit revenue is generated and the overall power of the nonprofit sector is apparent.

Despite that encouraging information, attendees agreed that power and future potential economic impact have taken a hit on the nonprofit sector, just as it has hospitality, travel, and other industries.

In answer to an introductory question, CASA of Denton County’s board member Melinda Galler responded, “what keeps me up at night is how we are going to be able to maintain the services we provide with our funding shortages.”

As Payroll Protection Plan payments dwindle and nonprofit fund-raising events are forced online or canceled, many Denton County nonprofits are feeling the financial strain, despite extensive funding support from Denton County through the CARES Act to support services to COVID-19-impacted clients.

“The CARES Act funding made available to nonprofits by the County has been incredible and allowed nonprofits to keep pace with the overwhelming COVID-related need to this point,” said United Way of Denton County President & CEO Gary Henderson. “The reality is many of our nonprofits are facing a budget shortfall this year and into 2021 to pay staff and keep their doors open to continue to deliver these services to meet the need that’s only going to increase as we face a recession reminiscent to 2008.”

The Built for Texas report indicated that charitable support was declining prior to the pandemic crisis.

“There is lots of work to be done to advocate,” said NCTC’s Dr. Roxanne del Rio. “I did not realize so many jobs may be going away as of December 30 as it relates to COVID.”

Organizations represented at the Built for Texas Convening included the following: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Denton, CASA of Denton County, Denton Affordable Housing, Denton Community Food Center, Denton Housing Authority, Denton County MHMR, Grace Like Rain, Health Services of North Texas, Hearts for Homes, Interfaith Ministries, NCTC, PediPlace, Solutions of North Texas, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, United Way of Denton County, University of North Texas, Woman 2 Woman Pregnancy Resource Center, and YMCA Cross Timbers.

The full Built for Texas report is available for review and download at www.unitedwaydenton.org/avocate.

About United Way of Denton County

United Way of Denton County is a local affiliate of a global organization led by a governing board of community volunteers. Through collaborative initiatives and programs with a network of local nonprofits, businesses, and government, we empower neighbors to invest in one another for a better Denton County community. We live United to help children and families succeed, to guide and serve veterans and their families, to make homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring, and to advocate for overall mental health. Working together, we identify the community’s most critical needs and implement collaborative solutions to improve and transform lives in Denton County. For more information, visit www.UnitedWayDentonCounty.org or call 940-566-5851. #United4DentonCounty