New location, big donation for United Way

Opportunity often knocks when you least expect it.
United Way of Champaign County has accepted an offer from Green St. Realty to purchase our building, located at 404 W. Church St., Champaign. In addition to the purchase price, Chris Saunders of  Green St. Realty has pledged to contribute a significant gift to United Way of Champaign County over the next two years.
In mid-May of 2018, United Way of Champaign County will relocate to 5 Dunlap Ct, Savoy. United Way will purchase the building outright with the proceeds from the sale of our current building.
United Way’s finance committee projects the cost saving from the change in location will increase the amount available for Community Impact Fund grants. Our organization is pleased that this move will further our mission and has the potential to provide even more grant funding for Education, Health and Financial Stability right here in Champaign County.
“That’s one of the most exciting parts about this move. Our teams of volunteers are currently reviewing grant applications from local programs. To be able to increase our grant capacity this year and in future years is a big win for our community and advances the mission of our organization,” said Randy Green, United Way’s immediate past Board Chair.
United Way's current facility was built in 1967. “With any building of this age, maintenance is to be expected and ever increasing. We weren’t actively looking to move, however, we were starting to have some hard conversations about how long we should stay in the building we are in and funding of some significant maintenance costs that are anticipated over the next few years,” said Beth Auterman, United Way Board Chair.
Anticipated maintenance over the next 10 years included replacing the elevator to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a new roof, rebuilding the parking lot and retaining walls, and extensive repair work on the portico columns. United Way estimated those repairs would cost the organization approximately $243,000.
 “We’ve been in our Church St. location since 1993, and while it’s been a wonderful home, even good homes age. We looked at the required maintenance over the next few years, and it became clear that this offer would be the most fiscally responsible choice for us to pursue. We'd much rather be investing our donors' contributions into our community than our office building," Beth Auterman said. 
United Way is enthusiastic about the opportunity to host community meetings in the new facility’s large meeting room. “It will be a great space to bring people together, to talk about the challenges facing our community, and to start taking action. We’re very excited about this new community gathering space,” remarked Sue Grey, United Way President & CEO.
“United Way of Champaign County has occupied several offices over our 94 years serving the community. Our current facility has been a wonderful home for the past 25 years. We’ve loved being part of Champaign’s vibrant, growing downtown. However, the future cost savings and the donation make moving the right long-term decision for our organization, our donors, and the communities we serve. Our address will change, but that’s all - our work continues," remarked Beth Auterman.
Chris Saunders of Green St. Realty said, "It was a pleasure working with United Way during the acquisition process. As I learned more about their organization, it was an easy decision to offer financial support. I know that every dollar that is donated is maximized to its fullest and reinvested into our community."