United Way falls short

Triangle drive misses target for community fund by $2 million.

By Todd Cohen

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. [02.23.04] — Triangle United Way raised $10.6 million for its general “community care fund” in 2003, $2 million less than its goal, a shortfall United Way says will mean less funding for member agencies.

Overall, United Way raised just over $18 million, down from $18.9 million last year.

A bigger share of those dollars, 59 percent compared to 57 percent in 2002, supported the community care fund, which has been the sole focus of United Way’s promotion of its annual drive in recent years and received $10.7 million in 2002.

“This is about turning a corner,” says Sarah Smith, vice president of resource development. “We’ve been having difficult campaigns. As the economy comes back, our goal is to ensure that we are able to generate more resources in the future to help meet the growing needs in our community.”

Despite the shortfall in the drive, chaired by Smedes York of York Properties, the number of bigger gifts grew, as did fundraising at companies that did not take part in 2002, and some companies showed big increases, Smith says.

The number of donors giving $10,000 or more, for example, grew to 72 from 65 in 2002, while companies taking part for the first time generated $230,000, up 60 percent from the total generated by companies taking part for the first time in 2002.

Companies posting the biggest increases in giving to the community care fund were UPS, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, and CCB.

Companies posting the biggest increases overall were Blue Cross, IBM and York Properties.

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