Plans for the 2009 campaign of the Brown County United Way are being finalized, and a tentative date of Sept. 17 has been set for the kickoff luncheon, officials said.

The official opening of the campaign at Mabee University Center at Howard Payne University will launch the drive for a goal of $325,000 to be divided among member agencies, Executive Director Karen Lynch said.

The United Way board met Thursday to consider recommendations from its allocations committee, which held conferences during July with representatives of each agency. Allocations for the coming year will be announced in letters to each agency.

Allocations Chair Steven Ray said the committee spent more than nine hours meeting with member agency officials reviewing their requests and needs.

“They are all passionate about their agencies and the services they provide,” Ray said. “The allocations process is truly eye-opening for the (United Way) directors who participate, especially those new to the board.”

“We would love to give the agencies all that request, but we just can’t,” Lynch said.

A campaign chair has not yet been named.

United Way board members said they are approaching the upcoming campaign with conservative expectations given the economic situation many Brown County supporters are facing, even though the needs of local agencies have never been greater. A proposed budget shaves administrative expenses by several hundred dollars and drops by 1 percent the anticipated collection rate.

But the board has shown a willingness to share the proceeds when contributions exceed anticipated levels. Citing a successful campaign last fall, the United Way distributed a supplemental allocation of 10 percent to each agency during its celebration banquet in March.