United Way campaign off to the races

Monday, Aug 26, 2013 4:39 PM
Last updated 6:45 PM
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The United Way of the CSRA urged its donors to “run for the roses” and announced a $4.1 million fundraising goal with a Kentucky Derby-theme kickoff event Monday at Bell Auditorium.

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Dancers from the Augusta West Dance Company perform during the United Way Luncheon at the Bell Auditorium Monday afternoon August 26, 2013.          Michael Holahan / Staff  MICHAEL HOLAHAN
MICHAEL HOLAHAN
Dancers from the Augusta West Dance Company perform during the United Way Luncheon at the Bell Auditorium Monday afternoon August 26, 2013. Michael Holahan / Staff

“The United Way depends heavily on the support of hundreds of individual donors,” said Tom Blanchard, the United Way’s campaign chairman, against a backdrop of jockeys on horses.

Although the event presented some lighthearted fun such as best hat contest and an animated race of five top “pacesetter” companies and their respective horses, the reason behind it is more serious.

“Since 2007, it’s really been difficult raising dollars,” said LaVerne Gold, the organization’s president and chief executive officer. “The needs are still there, but there are different needs. Now, we are seeing previous donors on the receiving end. These are not the traditional people receiving assistance. They have no idea of how the system works or where to begin to find help.”

The United Way provides funding for 44 programs in 23 agencies. Through the United Way, organizations such as the Salvation Army provide 300 meals a day to those in need, and Safe Homes of Augusta helped more than 2,000 domestic violence victims in the area.

This year’s goal is slightly less than last year’s. In 2012, the organization set its target at $4.15 million and raised more than $4,153,000. Despite the challenges in the economy, Gold said she believes the goal is attainable.

“We know people want to give,” she said. “This has always been a giving community.”

Also at Monday’s meeting, Gold presented the United Way Worldwide “Spirit of America Summit Awards” to local representatives of Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Comcast.

To encourage a healthy competition among businesses, the United Way initiated a Triple Crown challenge. At its annual meeting in February when it announces its fundraising totals, the United Way will honor corporate campaigns with the best model campaign, highest percentage of increase in per capita giving and greatest percentage of increase in employee participation. If one company wins in all three areas, it will be named the Triple Crown winner.

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nocnoc
49148
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nocnoc 08/27/13 - 08:15 am
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Understanding United Way

United Way is one of the simplest processes to donate to area charities.
When you give to them you can give to dozens of mostly worthy groups.


FORBES
rates The United Way is in the top 5.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/abrambrown/2012/11/08/charity-all-stars/

The largest charity in the U.S. by donations ($3.9 billion last year) ...
U.S. chapters pay 1% of funds raised to the parent organization, about $39M a year. About a quarter of what United Way takes in domestically is directed by donors to other charities. Money that stays with United Way is now used for one of three focus areas: education, income and health (particularly obesity prevention)."

note: Obesity prevention is a current Mrs. Obama/White House Goal

FOCUSED GIVING
If you object to a charity that The United Way collects for, you can FOCUS your donations to avoid that/those particular charities.

REMEMBER
As always before you give to any charity or Charity collection group, check the charity out. Support Worthy Efficient Charities and avoid charities that seem to waste $$$$ on high staff salaries, promotion expenses and collection fees. http://www.charitynavigator.org/

soapy_725
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soapy_725 08/27/13 - 08:25 am
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UW designations only work to the limit of the budget item.
Unpublished

UW designations only work to the limit of the budget item. If everyone designates their contribution to The Salvation Army, The Salvation Army will only get the amount budgeted for them. Based on the number of individuals helped.

soapy_725
44121
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soapy_725 08/27/13 - 08:26 am
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UW. like others, states funds may not go where you designate.
Unpublished

UW. like others, states funds may not go where you designate.

soapy_725
44121
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soapy_725 08/27/13 - 08:27 am
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Look up where the UW money goes. Look for yourself.
Unpublished

Look up where the UW money goes. Look for yourself.

soapy_725
44121
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soapy_725 08/27/13 - 08:29 am
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Legitimate charity or just a "fund raiser". Two different things
Unpublished

Legitimate charity or just a "fund raiser". Two different things

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