The United Way of P.E.I. is projecting a $20,000 shortfall in its 2013 fundraising campaign.

The charity set a goal of $938,500. It is asking the public for additional help.

The organization says 2013 was a tough year across the province economically and overall donations have been declining.

"There's been a number of issues surrounding basic cost of living expenses people had this year. And there's been a number of layoffs in various sectors and we were aware of that, that it was coming," said executive director David Hennessey.

"We budgeted quite a bit lower this year just to be on the safe side and we are still short of it. For a registered charity who is providing funding for programs right across the island, it does have an impact. Twenty thousand is quite an impact actually."

In addition to financial pressures being faced by Islanders, the United Way says more donor option choices are being directed off Island to national charities. If Islanders want donations to stay on the Island, says the group, they should designate their gifts to Island chapters of national charities or make their donation to the United Way of P.E.I.

United Way officials say it could be a challenge to continue support for the 23 programs it funds across the Island.

The organization is taking donations in the form of financial aid or gifts in kind.