During this holiday season many of us look for ways to give back to community organizations.
The United Way helps distribute funds to many local groups. Monday it is kicking off a special matching campaign. It has partnered with businesses to match donations.
But- how important are those funds?
Lincoln Literacy helps more than 1,200 people in Lincoln through its programs- and those programs have wait lists.
"This is an opportunity for some of them to socialize and learn how to use their English skills," said volunteer Laura Slazak.
"We're helping move people off of dependence on public assistance and charitable aid to independence as people who can hold their own jobs, raise their own families in a healthy environment and even help in their children's education," said Lincoln Literacy Director Clayton Naff.
But there's a chance many of those conversation groups, English classes and social opportunities could be reduced in the coming year.
"When the dust settled we found that our expenses for the year to come are going to be substantially higher just to do the same thing that we're doing now," he said.
January first those costs go from about 365,000 dollars to 440,000 dollars. It's a combination of factors. Federal funding is down due to the sequester and spending reductions. Americorp regulations have changed- so volunteers can't do the work they once would have. And the healthcare program it had- that's no longer legal under the Affordable Care Act.
'It's not quite a perfect storm, that would be an exaggeration but we're getting hit from several different angles at once," said Naff.
He hopes right now that ends will meet but if they don't.
"If we can't raise enough funds, we're not going to turn of the lights and just lock the doors and go home," he said.
The reliable funding from community members, like what United Way provides, could keep some programs running. The United Way hopes this year's matching campaign will allow them to maintain funding for groups like Lincoln Literacy. They work as a partner to non-profits, so United Way said they worry whenever the other funding sources for their agencies are compromised.