After a lengthy search, United Way of Scotland County has named Debbie Grant of Laurinburg as its new executive director.
Grant, who stepped into the job on March 1, replaced Barbara Alexander, who, outside of a four-month period last year, has served as the organization’s executive director since 2009.
A native of Clinton, Grant moved to Laurinburg in 1971, working as a real estate broker with Hasty Realty since 1992. She has been involved with the community in a number of ways, including the Laurinburg-Scotland County Chamber of Commerce Green Committee, the beautification committee, and Pilot Club.
“I’ve always participated with the United Way, and I love nonprofits, so I feel like I’m going to really enjoy this job,” Grant said.
Grant’s extensive network of area businesses and individuals place her in an ideal position to be an effective director for United Way.
“We advertised for the position, but we just weren’t finding the right person,” Alexander said. “This job is different… It needs a person who is really outgoing and has very strong ties to the community, someone who is willing to fund raise, and actually our president thought of Debbie out of the blue.”
Grant herself supports United Way’s mission because a large part of its efforts directly impact Scotland County – more than 80 percent of the funds raised by the organization are directed to local nonprofits.
“It excites me that so much stays in our community,” said Grant. “It’s not like we’re raising money and sending it out of the county. It’s all about neighbors giving to neighbors.”
Grant hopes that she will be able to count on the community’s support to help the United Way increase its fund raising goals.
“I want to do the best I can,” she said. “I know a lot of people and I think they will help me to make United Way successful and we’ll have a good year.”
In recent years, the organization has set a $200,000 fund raising goal annually, but would like to strive for a number closer to their pre-recession goals.
“In general, the United Way has always wanted to increase our goal,” said Alexander. “Our goal has dropped significantly each year with the loss of industries… I don’t know if it will ever get back to where it was, but at one time it was $500,000. Because we still have a lot of nonprofits who ask us for money, it would be nice if we could give them what they ask for. That would be a comfortable place to be.”