Consolidation of United Ways continues with Suncoast, Manatee nonprofits set to merge

Times Staff
Tampa Bay Times
Original Story
The consolidation of United Ways continues.

United Way Suncoast will merge with United Way of Manatee County by this summer, the nonprofit organizations said Wednesday. United Way Suncoast serves Hillsborough, Pinellas, DeSoto and Sarasota counties. United Way of Manatee County, based in Bradenton, serves Manatee County.

The merger was prompted in the wake of UWMC president Philip Brown’s retirement announcement in March, 2016. Discussions with United Way Suncoast began in September 2016.

In January, both boards unanimously voted to proceed. United Way Suncoast CEO Suzanne McCormick will head the resulting organization.

Combined, the new United Way will have an annual budget of roughly $22 million and close to 70 staff members across the five counties. United Way of Manatee County currently operates with a budget of $1.75 million.

From a business perspective, this move to a single regional footprint will benefit many of the corporations that are workplace partners with United Way. “Working with a ‘united’ United Way will simplify their corporate philanthropy and volunteering while maintaining a hyper local focus on community work,” said Deanna Willsey, United Way Suncoast’s chief marketing officer.

“For years we have worked closely with United Way of Manatee County on programs like the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, where United Way of Manatee County has played a leading role regionally,” said Eric Bailey, United Way Suncoast board chairman and managing principal of CapTrust Financial Advisors in Tampa. “Joining together will strengthen these relationships and leverage their expertise across the region to the benefit of Manatee County and all of the people in the communities we serve.”

United Way Suncoast was created in 2012 by the merger of United Way of Tampa Bay and United Way of Sarasota County.