United Way targets growth

By Todd Cohen

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Barring natural disasters like last year’s Gulf Coast hurricanes, Triangle United Way hopes to raise more money in its annual drive this year than it did last year.

The drive, which kicked off Sept. 7, aims to raise $11 million in undesignated gifts to United Way’s general “community care fund,” up from $10.6 million last year, and over $18 million overall, including gifts that donors designate for specific agencies.

“So far, things look more favorable,” says Craig Chancellor, president and CEO. “And as long as we don’t have an occurrence that draws money out of the community, we hope we’ll do better than last year.”

Chaired by Tom Adams, division president for Time Warner Cable Raleigh, the drive will try to recruit new companies and raise more money through larger gifts, in part by securing challenge grants that will match funds contributed through new corporate campaigns and bigger gifts from individual donors.

The drive also will focus on an overall increase of 4.6 percent in giving from existing corporate and employee campaigns.

“We’ve got to see growth from our current supporters as well,” Chancellor says.

Helping to oversee the drive will be Jim Thornton, former executive director of Meals on Wheels Delaware and a former vice president of United Way of Delaware, who has been named senior vice president for resource development.

United Way wants to raise $100,000 through first-time gifts from corporations, employees giving in the workplace, and individuals outside the workplace.

And it wants to raise another $100,000 through increases in giving from donors who in the past have given $1,000 or more, with most of those increases targeted to donors who have given $10,000 or more.

Scouting for new donors and corporate accounts will be members of United Way’s board, along with board members and volunteers from its 84 partner agencies.

Generating new support also will be the focus of up to 250 United Way volunteers, including employees coordinating workplace campaigns at their companies.

United Way staff and volunteers also will visit roughly 200 CEOs of companies to urge them to consider increasing their corporate gifts and setting more aggressive goals for their employee campaigns, Chancellor says.

And United Way will visit or contact over 60 companies that have not participated in the past.

To help market the drive, United Way has joined a collaborative marketing effort that includes United Ways in the Triad, Eastern North Carolina and Charlotte.

United Way also has secured Talecris and Rex Healthcare as title sponsors for the Old Reliable Run, a 10-K event it sponsors that will be held Nov. 12 in downtown Raleigh.

And United Way has secured $40,000 in sponsorships for its Teaming for Technology initiative that provides refurbished computers to schools, day-care centers and individuals.

The program, which Chancellor says makes Triangle United Way the largest licensed refurbisher of computers in the Southeast, already has donated 1,000 computers this year, and expects to donate up to 400 more by the end of the year.

J.R. Shearin, manager partner at Deloitte, will chair next year’s drive, while Smedes York, president of York Properties, will chair the board in 2007, and Bob Greczyn, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, will chair the board in 2008.

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