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July 28, 2010; Source: The Daily News | We have been hearing stories lately about mergers in national federated organizations that do not turn out well for some of the communities involved. In the Colorado River Region of Arizona a United Way merger gone ugly has resulted in a lot of public airing of grievances and the precipitous closing of a local office.

We covered this in a previous Newswire, but as if this were not uncomfortable enough, now the surviving United Way organization, River Cities United Way, has—according to agencies in the area—changed the local allocation process without notice to conform to RCUW’s—altering the way that it pays out grants from monthly to quarterly and payable only after a report is filed.

This would cause delays in payment of three or four months—a situation that some of the groups say would be hard to weather (one exec says she wouldn’t mind the quarterly payment if it were made up front—of course). Nonprofits like the local Boys and Girls Club say they were unprepared although RCUW says they were notified. RCUW says it has offered help with cash flow but clearly there is at least a communication issue here. —Ruth McCambridge