By Todd Cohen
As they near the end of their annual drives, United Ways in Greensboro and High Point also are nearing their fundraising goals.
United Way of Greater Greensboro had raised $11.2 million just before Christmas and aims to hit its goal of $12.5 million by its completion March 1, says Judy Piper, vice president for resource development.
And United Way of Greater High Point, with less than a month to go in its annual drive, had raised nearly $3.5 million just before Christmas and expects to exceed the $3.8 million it raised last year and either meet or nearly hit its goal of $3.95 million.
“I think we’re going to come real close,” says Michelle Caldwell, director of resource development.
The Greensboro drive, which a year ago raised $12.75 million, has generated more than $120,000 from new workplace campaigns and expects to exceed the $1.9 million raised last year from 150 donors giving $10,000 or more, Piper says.
Twenty donors making gifts that size last year increased their gifts this year by 20 percent in the face of a challenge by Deborah and Dennis Glass, president and CEO of Jefferson-Pilot Financial.
The couple, who pledged $12,000 a year ago, doubled that total this year through a promise to increase their gift by 5 percent for every donor who pledged $10,000 or more last year and added another 20 percent this year.
The couple also secured pledges of $100,000 from individuals and corporations agreeing to double first-time gifts of $5,000 from individuals who promised to increase their gifts to $10,000 next year.
Three-fourths of those matching pledges from individuals and corporations already have been used, Piper says.
And the number of African Americans giving $1,000 or more grew by 32, generating $44,450 in new contributions.
Workplace campaigns posting big increases in the current drive include Enterprise Rent-A-Car, which gave $39,000, up from $24,000; Guilford Technical Community College, which gave $28,000, up from $21,000; Kindred Hospital, which gave $12,900, up from $6,590; and Coyne Beahm Shouse, which gave $8,000, up from $3,000.
The High Point drive, chaired by Gary Gore, senior vice president and market president in High Point for Bank of America, got an early boost last summer from a strong “pacesetter” campaign.
Unlike last year, when the departure of Sara Lee and GE Financial from the city cost the drive roughly $250,000 combined, this year’s drive has been free of setbacks, with most workplace campaigns meeting the totals they raised last year, says Bobby Smith, president and CEO.
Some companies did post increases, with Banner PharmaCaps, for example, raising $91,000, up $20,000, he says.
The drive held first-time workplace campaigns at roughly 20 companies, such as Brayton International.
And the number of donors who give at least $10,000 grew by one to 56, with each of those giving $11,000, compared to $10,000 a year ago increasing their total to $625,000 from $550,000.
Chaired by Tommy Langley, director of investments in High Point for Wachovia Securities, the volunteer committee that solicits those donors this year focused on increasing overall contributions rather than the number of donors, Smith says.
And as an incentive for individuals to contribute one hour’s pay a month for 12 months, United Way for the third straight year gave away a car donated by Vann York Auto Mall.