Transition in Fayetteville

United Way of Cumberland County searching for new CEO.

By Todd Cohen

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. [04.29.04] — United Way of Cumberland County is looking for a new president and CEO, retooling the way it distributes money, and getting ready for its annual fundraising drive.

A search committee chaired by community volunteer Cynthia Wilson aims to have a new chief executive on the job by August, in time for the official kickoff of United Way’s 2004 drive, says Shirley Stallings, vice president of finance and administration, and interim president and CEO.

Stallings, who succeeded Bob Pantano after he resigned effective January 31 to join a consulting firm in Virginia, says United Way also will phase in its funding of specific programs and services at health and human-service agencies that match priority needs United Way is identifying.

Those priorities, which Stallings says are based on a new assessment of community needs, likely will include some or all of the five “impact” areas United Way currently funds: improving the lives of children and youth; strengthening families and neighborhoods; creating independence for the elderly and disabled; promoting health and healing; and meeting basic needs and emergency relief.

While its 2003 community drive raised $1,873,000, missing its goal of $2,136,000, its chief fundraiser says the showing still was strong in the face of the tough economy.

The workplace campaign at Cumberland County Schools, for example, raised $235,160, up $12,000 from a year earlier and exceeding its goal by 5 percent.

And the campaign at Kelly-Springfield, despite layoffs through attrition, raised $205,000 from employees, down only $15,000 from a year earlier, plus a corporate gift of $46,000.

“We are still fighting the downturn,” says Adrian Reeder, vice president of resource development.

The campaign also generated 115 “leadership” gifts of $1,000 or more, including one of more than $10,000, totaling more than $173,000, down slightly from a year earlier.

She says the 2004 drive, to be chaired by Bill Bowman, publisher of Up & Coming Weekly, will try to add new donors such as homebuilders, construction companies and realtor to the 120 workplace campaigns it held last year.

The new assessment of community needs, she says, will help United Way “encourage companies that don’t run campaigns to run them this year, and ask the community to give more.”

The drive will kick off in April with a “pacesetter” campaign at Fayetteville Technical Community College.

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