The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday October 5th

Donor Listings Cause Tensions

The N.C. Waste Awareness and Reduction Network is just one of many organizations included under the N.C. Community Shares umbrella. But that one organization could cause a world of trouble for N.C. Community Shares' relationship with Triangle United Way. The United Way accepted donor listings for all N.C. Community Shares' organizations except one - N.C. WARN. Now N.C. Community Shares officials are worried the controversy could jeopardize the relationship between the group and United Way, said Bryan Lewis, executive director of N.C. Community Shares, a fund-raising organization for various nonprofit groups. "We have been told that (United Way) might not want to put up with the headaches," he said. "Up until now, it was going really great. Both (United Way and N.C. Community Shares) were getting great results. But N.C. WARN has caused some tension," he said. "It is kind of scandalous." United Way officials warned N.C. Community Shares ahead of time that N.C. WARN might not be included in the listing. "We did tell them that N.C. WARN was not likely a candidate for listing," said W. Thomas Dugard, president and CEO of Triangle United Way. Not listing N.C. WARN does not prevent people from donating to it, Dugard said. "Donors can still list N.C. WARN on the write-in indications," he said. The exclusion of N.C. WARN from donor lists might have been a minor issue if Carolina Power & Light Co., a major contributor to United Way, had not expressed opposition to its listing. "CP&L pushed their weight around," N.C. WARN Director Jim Warren said. "CP&L's action was blatantly inappropriate." But Dugard said he does not like the characterization of CP&L as a neighborhood bully. "This David and Goliath stuff is absolutely baffling," he said. "Donors tell us all the time that they don't like agencies." Dugard said one of the concerns in placing N.C. WARN on the donor list stemmed from United Way's perception of the organization's goals. "It appeared that N.C. WARN's purpose was directly to oppose CP&L," he said. N.C. WARN has been a public adversary of CP&L for some time, becoming especially vocal over the proposed expansion of the Shearon Harris nuclear waste storage facilities, which are owned by CP&L. But Warren emphasized that N.C. WARN's opposition was merely a method of disseminating ideas and information. "What we do is educate the public and organize with communities and the general public to try to reduce the unnecessary threat from industrial pollution," he said. But Lewis said his primary concern was that tension between organizations involved in the N.C. WARN controversy could cause United Way to indirectly punish donors who wished to contribute to the organization. "Include us not for our sake but for the donors' sake and the communities that we serve," he said. "We hope that the Triangle United Way does not punish donors in the future because of the circumstances surrounding N.C. WARN." The City Editor can be reached at citydesk@unc.edu.


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