United Ways Toast New Year With Mergers
United Ways Toast New Year With Mergers

The new year brought with it another ripple of consolidation among United Way’s more than 1,000 affiliates in the United States.

Two Central New York affiliates officially consummated their relationship as of Jan. 1, with another expected to join the newly named organization this spring. After some 2½ years of working together, the Chenango United Way and United Way of Delaware and Otsego Counties officially became the United Way of Mid Rural New York. 

Chenango United Way also began discussions in July 2022 with Oneida, New York-based United Way of Madison County, which is expected to finalize consolidation into the new organization by April 2023.

“We wanted our new name to represent our focus on the rural nature of our donors, and the programs and the needs we are striving to serve here,” Elizabeth Monaco, who’s been executive director of Chenango United Way since 1999, said via a press release. “Rural communities have unique challenges related to issues of transportation, homelessness and childcare and we want to be sure we are addressing them differently than a more urban community would. Our new name is just one way we are reflecting that intent and focus.”

Chenango is the largest and oldest of the three United Ways. The Norwich, N.Y.-based affiliate reported $580,000 in revenue in 2020 and assets of $1.8 million, with about three employees. It was established in 1956.

United Way of Delaware and Otsego Counties in Oneonta, New York, has three employees and reported $275,000 in revenue, with net assets of $218,000 in 2019, according to the most recent tax form available.

United Way of Madison County, established in 1990, has only one employee, a part-time executive director. The affiliate reported revenue of $150,000 with net assets of $73,000 in the 2019 tax year.

Two Minnesota affiliates of United Way also merged in the new year: United Way of Olmsted County and United Way of Dodge County.

The merger follows more than six months of discussions between the two boards. The reason for the merger is to “increase efficiency and have a greater impact, directing more money to services that improve people’s lives,” Paul Kiltinen, who served as president of Dodge County’s board prior to the merger, said via a Jan. 10 press release.

“There have been efforts in the past to absorb [Dodge County] into larger United Way agencies, but the board has strongly resisted this, desiring to maintain local control,” according to its website.

The 60-year-old United Way of Olmsted County, based in Rochester, Minnesota, is much larger. It has a 22-member board and reported 24 employees for the 2021 tax year. Revenue eclipsed $4 million that year, including $3.6 million in contributions and grants, with net assets of $4.5 million.

Established in 1952, the United Way of Dodge County is run by a nine-member, volunteer board, according to its most recent tax Form 990. The Dodge Center, Minnesota-based affiliate is the smaller but older of the two organizations, reporting less than $80,000 in contributions and revenue and $108,000 in net assets for the 2020 tax year.

The two affiliates consolidated administrative operations, but United Way of Dodge County will continue to do business under that name when working with Dodge County residents and businesses. Before merging, Dodge County allocated funds it raised in 2022 and those grant awards will be maintained through 2025, without agencies needing to reapply for funding.

An important aspect for most affiliates, and many nonprofits, is keeping dollars local. Campaign pledges and donations from Dodge County donors will be directed to programs and operations to support Dodge County residents, and the same will be true for Olmsted County.

“Keeping dollars local is what United Way is all about,” said Jennifer Telesky, United Way board chair and a senior vice president at NBT Bank. “This was a key concept in the discussions held by our joint task force, and we believe this model will best serve individuals and families in our rural communities.” 


Key stats:


Chenango United Way (1956)

Norwich, New York

Revenue: $580,000 (2020)

Net assets: $1.8 million

Employees: 3


United Way of Delaware and Otsego Counties (1969)

Oneonta, New York

Revenue: $275,000 (2019)

Net assets: $218,000

Employees: 3


United Way of Madison County (1990)

Oneida, New York

Revenue: $150,000 (2019)

Net assets: $73,000

Employees: 1 (part-time executive director)


United Way of Olmsted County (1963)

Rochester, Minnesota

Revenue: $4 million (2021)

Net assets: $4.5 million

Employees: 24


United Way of Dodge County (1956)

Dodge Center, Minnesota

Revene: $80,000 (2020)

Net assets: $108,000

Employees: 0