With about a month to go, the latest numbers suggest the federal government will not hit its target for this year’s United Way campaign.

In September, the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign goal was set at $19 million.

Michael Allen with United Way said while more money is going to come in, the campaign is currently $3 million dollars short.

“Over the past five years we have seen a gradual but steady decline in the number of donors with actually not bad results in terms of dollars,” Allen said.

“This year has been an extraordinary year with about a 30 per cent decline in the number of donors.”

That amounts to 8,000 employees who chose not to contribute again this year. About one third of those employees previously donated through payroll deductions.

“As much as public servants want to help, I’m sure they don’t want to push a button and their pay stops,” said federal worker, Samantha Russell.

Like many others, Russell declined to do payroll deduction this year for fear the Phoenix Payroll System would get it wrong.

“Unfortunately, it comes second to paying your mortgage and feeding your children, it really was a tough choice,” she added.

Russell said she would be giving a cash donation to a charity of her choice instead.

Allen said the donors who did contribute to the campaign through payroll deductions did not have any issues.

The United Way’s overall goal is to help 60,000 people this year. Allen said about 30-35 per cent of the money needed to do that comes from the government campaign.