Nonprofits are no doubt frustrated these days, as they try to do more with less in a troubled economy -- and brace for more cuts at the state level.
York County's largest umbrella organization for nonprofits, for instance, is distributing smaller amounts because of a weaker-than-expected fundraising campaign.
The United Way of York County recently allocated about $2.7 million from its Community Fund to its partner agencies, such as the York County Literacy Council, the American Red Cross and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of York County Inc.
The fund -- representing the portion of its overall $6.9 million campaign that donors didn't designate for a specific charity -- is about $155,000 less than last year, meaning some agencies saw decreases in their allocations.
One received nothing at all.
Communication seems to have broken down with Habitat for Humanity -- the only one of 36 partner agencies that did not receive a donation this year from the Community Fund -- and the United Way.
Habitat, which helps people find affordable housing, expected to receive grants from the fund, and its board was "highly upset" and offended to be omitted, according to Executive Director Debbie Krout-Althoff.
As a result, Krout-Althoff took the unusual step of issuing a press release, under the heading "Breaking News," to highlight the perceived snub.
The release caught United Way Executive Director Bob Woods off guard. He said Habitat, a new partner agency in 2010, isn't eligible until next year for Community Fund donations, which are distributed through three-year cycles.
However, a report in The York Dispatch from 2010 on the new partnership quotes Woods as saying Habitat could receive Community Funds in 2011-12, but noted it would have to submit a proposal, competing with 77 programs under then-34 partner agencies.
Clearly there is some miscommunication on the part of one or both organizations.
In the same 2010 Dispatch article, Habitat's executive director at the time, Rosie Boileau, noted her organization would benefit from its partnership with the United Way because Habitat "is not always associated with a high level of professionalism."
Yet if that is, in fact, the public's perception of Habitat, Krout-Althoff's press release, which served no purpose other than to vent over a perceived slight, did little to change it.
As Woods said, "... It doesn't do anyone any good to air this out in the public."
It's worth noting that Habitat is set to receive more than $23,000 that was designated to the organization during the United Way's fundraising campaign.
But Habitat's public complaining might have damaged a relationship that could help more low-income people reach the American dream of homeownership.
"I never realized that we did have a situation where there might be a change in our relationship," Woods said. "Maybe this relationship isn't where it needs to be. I'm just flabbergasted that something like this had to be released."
We hope the two organizations are able put this spat behind them and learn to work together.
Otherwise, the only ones who will suffer are the same ones they've both pledged to help.