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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- After sharp cutbacks following the recession and a salary scandal, the United Way of the Central Carolinas is restoring at least some of the funding to almost all of its 96 member agencies.

Seventeen agencies have been restored to 2008 funding levels but many agencies receive much less than they did before the recession.

The United Way cut allocations through its community care fund by more than one-third last year, after donors stayed away in droves when a deep recession hit the Charlotte area and its banking industry hard, coming on the heels of a salary scandal that led to the firing of its former CEO and the resignation of many board members.

The biggest increase in funding: $353,359 more to the Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte, much of it going to the agency's Boys and Girls Clubs.

There was excitement and there were even tears at the announcement, according to Major Todd Hawks of the Salvation Army.

But most agencies have yet to be restored to 2008 levels. The United Way slashed its funding to the Boy Scouts Mecklenburg Council by almost 60 percent last year, or almost $350,000, but restored only $8,000 of the funding this year.

Scout Executive Mark Turner knows what he and his staff have to do: Be able to communicate better. So maybe we're not working it yet. Or maybe they're not seeing our entire program.

United Way administrators say hundreds of volunteers scrutinize agencies before recommending funding, looking for data that shows results.

It is a rigorous process, says United Way Executive Director Jane McIntyre. I like to say you earn your dollars from the United Way. They're not just handed to you. You earn 'em.

The United Way has set up an appeals process for agencies who believe they haven't gotten a fair shake.

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