The local United Way campaign is just under $100,000 short of their $785,000 goal. Almost 90% of the campaign has been raised.

There is still time to make a contribution before the end of the year and get that every important tax deduction come April 15, 2008. Contributions made by Dec. 31 are deductible to the donors who itemize on their annual tax return.

In addition to receiving a tax break, donors receive the satisfaction of knowing that their contribution remains in the community to help area residents in need. Only 1% of the funds raised leave the community.

For those who prefer to make a donation after the first of the year, they can make a “pledge” now that will be added to the campaign total. Donors can fulfill their pledge all at once, on a quarterly basis or on a monthly basis or however they prefer. The local United Way can draft their bank account or charge their payment to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. Credit card donations may be made online at www.stillwaterunitedway.org or by calling the United Way office at 377-2161 or in person at 109 E. Ninth Avenue in downtown Stillwater. The United Way office will be open Monday, Dec. 31, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Another way to lower your tax bill on April 15th is to donate shares of appreciated stock to the Stillwater Area United Way.

There are 25 not for profit organizations which receive support from the Stillwater Area United Way. Several of the agencies actually “began” with a venture grant from the United Way. These “start up” funds were the boost the agency needed to begin providing a much needed service to the area.

For all of the United Way supported agencies, the United Way funds are funds they can count on coming in each month.

This helps many groups with monthly operational obligations. Some of the United Way agencies are able to leverage additional funds to the community with their United Way allocation.

Many grants require “community matching funds” and their United Way annual allocation can be used to meet that requirement because the United Way funds are raised locally.

The local United Way is governed by a local board of 33 directors and employs one full time director and one 3/4 time assistant. Hundreds of volunteers work on the campaign which lowers administrative overhead for the United Way.

For more information about the local organization, call the United Way office, 37-2161. A complete list of the agencies helped with United Way contributions is available online at www.stillwaterunitedway.org.

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