$24M sets record – Fundraising up 11 percent

The Orange County United Way raised $24 million in 1999, up 11 percent from a year earlier, the Los Angeles Times reports.

It was the fourth consecutive year the charity set a record in its annual fundraising campaign.

Orange County’s rate of charitable giving has been lower than rates in comparable metropolitan areas for years.

“We still have a long way to go, but this is a great trend,” United Way spokesman Dan Pittman told the Times. “Let’s see how long it lasts.”

Pittman said many less affluent counties give more per resident than does Orange County. 

“It’s been a matter of working harder and smarter and making it as simple as possible for people to give,” he said.

The booming economy and a 35 percent growth in United Way membership contributed to the record tally, Pittman said.

Organization officials said the United Way also did a better job of explaining the county’s needs to potential donors.

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