Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

Contrasting United Way, Wheeler

February 20, 2008
Businesses and their employees opened pockets last year to enable United Way of Central Indiana to hit a record $39 million in contributions.

The not-for-profit attributed the good news to hustle by campaign co-chairmen who offered money from their own pockets as incentives to United Way staff and volunteers to visit businesses.

Itâ??s hard to miss the contrast with Wheeler Mission Ministriesâ?? announcement Monday that it will lay off 13 staff as it shifts its youth and family programs to Shepherd Community Center.

Wheeler was staring at a $342,000 deficit in its fiscal year. Contributions were softening due to donor concerns about the weak economy and possibly uncertainty that accompanies presidential election years, Wheeler said.

Wheeler, which is returning to its roots of housing the homeless, has strained under a fivefold demand for its services in the past decade.

Is the only connection between United Wayâ??s success and Wheeler Missionâ??s struggle that their announcements came in the same week? Or is there more to it?
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