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Drive falls short – Final push not enough

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By Todd Cohen

A four-week overtime plus assists from six foundations, a TV station, an artist and a UNCG concert helped boost the annual campaign of the United Way of Greater Greensboro, although it still does not expect to meet its annual goal of $15.15 million.

“We still expect to fall significantly short of the goal,” says Judy Piper, vice president for resource development. “We expect our final accounting to be over $14 million.”

The campaign, which last year raised a record-high $14.945 million, initially was scheduled to end Nov. 15 but was extended four weeks because the drive had raised only $13.342 million.

To help boost the total, six local foundations agreed to match donations up to a total of $200,000.

The United Way more than met that challenge, thanks to a Dec. 14 “telefund” sponsored by WFMY News2 that raised $216,000 and featured an offer by Greensboro artist William Mangum to give a free new print, “American Pride,” to anyone donating $25 or more to the campaign.

Donors already have snapped up 1,500 to 2,000 of the prints, which were produced for free by Printing Services of Greensboro.

And the UNCG Wind Ensemble performed Dec. 4 at a patriotic benefit concert at Aycock Auditorium, with proceeds split between the United Way and the Sept. 11th Fund. Results have not been tallied.

Piper says the United Way won’t announce final campaign results until early January because some employers – including some holding workplace campaigns for the first time – have extended their drives through the end of the year. Mangum’s print offer also will continue.

The campaign faced big challenges from the downturn in the economy and stock market, and from the impact of charitable giving to assist victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, Piper says.

The United Way estimates that 4,000 former donors have been laid off, keeping them from giving and creating additional need for services.

Foundations contributing to the matching fund include the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation, Cemala Foundation, Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, Moses Cone-Wesley Long Community Health Foundation, Tannenbaum-Sternberger Foundation and Weaver Foundation.

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