Generosity evident as campaign nears goalAround this time of year, I am asked quite frequently throughout the day: “How’s the Campaign going?” My standard response over the six years I’ve been in this position is: “I really don’t know yet!”
By: By Kathi Madsen, Superior Telegram
Around this time of year, I am asked quite frequently throughout the day: “How’s the Campaign going?” My standard response over the six years I’ve been in this position is: “I really don’t know yet!”
Well, I’ve had to change my response this year, and it’s a very good thing.
For those who don’t know much about United Way, and unfortunately, there are many. We raise money to give to other not-for-profit agencies so they are able to do the good work they do in the community. Over the years, United Way has taken a hard look at funding only those programs that measure outcomes so we can prove to our funders that their dollars are making a difference.
Most recently, our board made the difficult decision to fund only programs in Douglas County that help us in our three community impact initiative areas:
* To improve early childhood literacy rates and increase kindergarten readiness in the Douglas County elementary schools.
* To increase positive outcomes for at-risk youth in education, family and peer relationships.
* To improve the re-stabilization of homeless individuals and families.
As we’ve refined our process, I’ve felt extremely positive about our direction.
Now, imagine my surprise when the 2012 five top workplace campaigns started coming in over last year’s giving.
The first one came in at 4 percent; I was thrilled
The next one at came in at 21 percent; this is great.
The third one was 14 percent; I couldn’t believe it.
The last two at 32 percent and 29 percent, I was doing the “happy dance” in my office.
I couldn’t imagine the generosity of these employees; they’ve been asked to do and give so much this past year by so many not-for-profits and they keep on giving.
The employees and corporate gifts from Calumet Specialty Products, Enbridge Energy, Essentia Health, Minnesota Power and Superior Water, Light and Power are just over 50 percent of our campaign. But the most interesting piece for me is that 64 percent of that comes from the pockets of the employees. We can never thank all of you enough.
But it’s not too late to get in on the excitement and joy of giving. Our goal this year is $340,000, and as of Monday, we are at 99.9 percent of our goal.
So, if you are the person who thinks your gift is too small to help anyone, here are the facts directly from several of the agencies we fund.
If you donated $1 per week, or $2 per pay check, that $52 annual donation could buy a week’s worth of groceries for a fire victim, or one night of emergency lodging for a family of 4.
It could provide 10 blankets for shelter victims, or formula, diapers and supplies for an infant. Five people could have hot meals or it could cover all food and supplies for one person in emergency shelter.
It could provide one hour of counseling for a distraught homeless woman and her children in need of a safe place to live and sort out the trauma in her life. It could provide ten weeks of daily homework help or 75 USDA enhanced dinner snacks or zippered toothbrush kits for 20 elementary children.
You really can make a difference.
But remember that your time is worth money to our not-for-profit agencies as well. Could you volunteer to answer phones, stock shelves with food, process a bulk mailing, mentor a child, sort through donations?
And to the many employees, individuals, large and small businesses who have supported us over the years — we couldn’t do all these things without you.
Thank you for your generosity of spirit!
Kathi Madsen is executive director for the United Way of Superior-Douglas County.