By Todd Cohen
SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. — Adapting to the struggling economy after last year’s drive fell $70,000 from a record high raised in 2001, United Way of Moore County this year aims to raise $630,000, up $10,000 from last year’s total.
“We decided to set a goal that we thought was obtainable and that would allow our volunteers to celebrate success,” says Peggy Crutchfield, president.
This year’s drive, which kicked off July 28 with early “pacesetter” campaigns and ends in November, is $20,000 ahead of last year’s pace, she says.
In its first pacesetter campaign ever, for example, St. Joseph of the Pines raised $14,000, beating its goal by $4,000.
The drive, chaired by Pat Russo, superintendent of Moore County Schools, is counting on larger gifts from individuals.
With few big industries or companies in the county, United Way two years ago launched an effort to raise more from individual donors by creating special recognitions for larger gifts.
That effort has begun to pay off, Crutchfield says, with individuals who gave $500 or more accounting for 43 percent of last year’s total.
United Way also is moving to fund programs, not organizations, and is starting to prepare its 20 member agencies to assess the impact of past funding as part of their requests for future funds.
To more effectively fund programs delivering health care and serving families, which a recent survey found to be the community’s top needs, United Way aims to be “more inclusive,” Crutchfield says.
“We going to be opening up to hear from other organizations this year,” she says.