United Way's winning team is helping the CSRA – and you can, too

 

 

The football teams we all cheer for and support share many common characteristics that make them great. They sustain a high level of quality performance regardless of different coaches, players and changes in the scope of competition. These teams have created a brand that is valued; remain steadfastly focused on their mission; are committed to excellence; and surround themselves with winners.

United Way of the Central Savannah River Area's 2010 campaign kicked off in August with a football theme and a goal to continue victories for our community by changing one life at a time.

YOUR UNITED WAY of the Central Savannah River Area is a winning team! This team is on the front line every day tackling the problems of illiteracy, homelessness, unemployment and hunger. Your United Way is the community's team to make the Central Savannah River Area a better place to work and raise our families.

Using the attributes mentioned above, let me illustrate why the foundation of this team is stronger than it has ever been, and why its successful performance over time is worthy of our continued financial support.

- Your United Way is mission- focused. The United Way mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good.

In 1936, the "Character Chest" was founded to establish a united fund-raising drive for four local human-service organizations. Since that time, the organization has changed its name, eventually evolving into the United Way of the Central Savannah River Area, but it has remained true to its mission and focus.

Your United Way team has been serving Augusta and the surrounding communities in the 13 CSRA counties for almost 75 years. Using team partner agencies, United Way has affected countless lives in the CSRA by inspiring hope and advancing the common good to strengthen the larger community through quality education, positive youth development, affordable housing, independent living and personal safety.

- Your United Way has created a valuable brand. The United Way brand has international recognition as the foremost human service provider worldwide. A recent Forbes magazine article titled "The World's Most Valuable Brands" listed the top 50 brands, with United Way as the only nonprofit to achieve a ranking, at No. 26.

The most successful professional sports franchise, the National Football League, has partnered with United Way as its philanthropy of choice to extend the horizons to assist people for more than 35 years. The NFL has recognized the strength of the United Way brand to advance the common good.

- Your United Way is committed to excellence. United Way of the CSRA remains focused on the commitment of excellence by keeping the mantra that we are stewards of individual and corporate funds donated to advance the common good. We hold the community trust inviolate to maintain low operating expenses so more funds can be directed to programs that make a difference in people's lives.

The principles of trust and stewardship also are extended to the accountability standards established for our partner agencies. In 2011, United Way will implement a higher level of reporting standards or outcome measures to ensure there has been a measurable impact on each individual who has received assistance through our partner agencies. This increased accountability commitment has been four years in the making as we have educated agencies on this significant reporting requirement.

- Your United Way team recruits and surrounds itself with winners. Good football teams recruit excellent athletes of character to champion the team brand on and off the field. They are managed by outstanding coaches.

IN MY 20 YEARS of community nonprofit involvement, your United Way staff has been the most dedicated, passionate, talented and determined group of philanthropic professionals I have had the privilege to work with. Those 10 concerned, community leaders who formed the Character Chest board of directors in 1936 set a high standard for board membership that has been sustained throughout our winning history.

United Way of the CSRA affects the community every day by the success of the partner programs and the individual lives that are changed through their efforts. Funds raised through the campaign make a difference in someone's life every day. If you already have joined our winning team to "Live United," thanks. If not, please consider joining this winning team by giving, advocating, and/or volunteering to create positive change in our community.

When we're united, we build a better community.

Remember the definition of TEAM -- Together, Each Achieves More.

(The writer -- vice president of administration at the Medical College of Georgia -- is this year's fund-raising campaign chairman for the United Way of the CSRA.)

 

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