By Ian Faulkner, Staff Writer
Monday, January 21, 2013 —
The United Way of Stanly County met and exceeded its campaign goal early for 2012-13.
“United Way’s purpose is to understand targeted issues within our local community,” said Ben Lisk, a board member with United Way.
“This year’s campaign felt different from years past. It’s as if United Way was back to it’s basics, achieving set goals through efficiency, which was very challenging in an election year.”
With a goal of $325,000, United Way raised $327,216 during 2012.
“We met our goal right before Christmas,” said Christy Bogle, executive director for United Way.
“I don’t know that we’ve done anything differently this year. Consistency, we’ve had the same consistent message the last couple of years.
“We’ve been able to go out and talk to donors about our new programs: 211 and Get Connected.
“They want to support people in need and the community as a whole. Having those programs and getting those agencies involved, we are able to educate the community on what we are doing.”
Bogle relayed that the organization had been going out to talk with businesses and institutions, letting them talk directly to the people United Way helps.
“I think that makes a huge difference when our donors can hear from agencies and clients,” she said.
“I think that makes a big difference.”
Bogle related this campaign to those of years past.
“We’ve been fortunate in the past couple of years that our campaigns have increased,” she said.
“The last three or four years they’ve increased, which is good in this economy.”
According to Bogle, United Way of Stanly raised $306,472 in 2011.
“We hope to continue,” she said.
“The community, when they hear those stories and can relate to the need, they help.
“We’re fortunate to live in a community that will do that.”
She explained that a lot of the success to United Way’s campaigns comes from their volunteer campaign coordinators. At every work place campaign they have, there are volunteers that coordinate the campaign there.
“They believe in the United Way. They get involved and they’re creative,” she said.
“That’s a big part of our success is having wonderful volunteers who are passionate.”
“The community certainly pitched in. I thought the community bought in to doing good work place campaigns,” said Steve Cumming, campaign chair.
“It seems like every time I went out to do a talk at a company folks seemed really enthusiastic to help out with the United Way campaign. If I had the chance to stand before them, I would thank them a million times over for making the campaign a success this year.”
Michelin US11 was the top fundraiser for the campaign. The company’s campaign drew more than $57,000 alone, $20,000 more than what they raised in 2011.
“A lot of it has to do with the volunteers and coordinators, like with the Kiss the Pig contest. When they share their passion they accomplish wonderful things,” Bogle said.
Uwaharrie Capital Corporation is always a top giver, Bogle noted. The other top organization was the City of Albemarle.
“Stanly Regional also did a fantastic campaign,” Cumming observed.
“The successful work campaigns are what helped us meet and exceed our goal this year,” Cumming said.
United Way is an easy way to give back to the community, Bogle said.
“You may not typically take the opportunity [to give back] in your busy lives, we offer the opportunity to make a difference.”
She explained how they let the community know about United Way.
“We get word out through the campaigns; we start planning it early in the year,” she said.
“We have a campaign kickoff luncheon in September. We invite old coordinators and they help rally the cause for the campaign.
“We try during the campaign season to answer any invitation to speak about the United Way, civic or social group. Every opportunity year round we want to share the stories of the United Way with the community.”
Bogle explained that the thermometers around the county are the top way they get the word out about the fundraising season.
“It helps remind them that it is campaign season,” Bogle said.