Despite deficit, Urban League reports gains in community

Despite deficit, Urban League reports gains in community
June 29
05:00 2017

More than 50 stakeholders and supporters of the Winston-Salem Urban League (WSUL), came together last week to look at the impact the organization had on the community last year, and take a glimpse into the future during its annual meeting held on Thursday, June 22. 

During the meeting at The Piedmont Room on 1 W. Fourth St., WSUL board Chairwoman Alison Ashe-Card said despite facing deficit of more than $12,000 the local nonprofit designed to promote social and economic progress through education, training, and civic engagement still managed to go above and beyond the normal call of duty. 

According to Ashe-Card, in 2016 the WSUL helped 4,420 people with employment assistance, helped over 200 people with mental illness and hosted two job career expos that connected more than 1,000 people with potential employees. 

WSUL also helped 92 seniors with job placement opportunities and assisted more than 400 with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) vouchers.

“We’re excited about our progress and success,” Ashe-Card said.

During the financial report, Treasurer Kyle Haney discussed the deficit the organization faces. He said despite the loss last year, the WSUL made significant progress. He said the Urban League adopted an entirely new accounting system. Haney said the accounting team adopted a “state-of-the-art” accounting software designed specifically for high preforming, efficient, nonprofit management.

“That investment certainly paid off,” continued Haney. “When the dollars came in, and we looked at our numbers, it accurately represented where we stand, so that’s fantastic. This is a dramatic improvement over the last couple of years.”

When looking at income versus expenses, the income index for the WSUL sits at $1,835,737.90, expenses for the 2016 fiscal year is around $1,848,381.65. Haney said the organization decided to “run at a deficit” instead of making program cuts.

“At the end of the year, we’re going to be facing deficit of around $12,000,” continued Haney. “The CEO and the board decided to run at a deficit rather than make immediate program cuts so we can honor our commitment to the community.”

Ninety-six percent of the WSUL income came from grants, 3 percent came from donations and the remaining 1 percent came from service fees. Haney said the goal of the organization in the next fiscal year is to diversify its funding. He then encouraged those in attendance to donate their time and money to help the organization.

“You can help us diversify our income right now,” he smiled. “I think if everybody can do that, we can see that 3  percent move to 4 percent.”

Ashe-Card called for more donations as well. She said, “When you invest in us, it allows us to invest in people and communities that a lot of people often forget about.

“It is through your investment that we empower communities and change lives,” she said.

In other business, Michael Diamond and Dr. Chere Gregory stepped down from their positions on the Board Of Directors. And April Johnson will replace Jessica Leach as president of the Young Professionals organizations. Alison Ashe-Card, chairwoman; Tamara Smith, vice chairwoman; and Mary Anne Squire, member of the Executive Committee At Large, will return to their positions on the board.

The WSUL also presented several community service awards during the annual meeting last week. Kimberly Geter was named Volunteer Of The Year, and Wesley Davis and Kathleen Evans took home the Samuel D. Harvey Community Leadership Award, which was named after the first president of the Winston-Salem Urban League.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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