United Way to lengthen fundraising campaign

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 22, 2012

By Shavonne Potts
SALISBURY — The Rowan County United Way says local residents can expect to hear more about the organization and its member agencies all year long.
The United Way campaign usually kicks off in the early fall, and at the same time the community learns about the agencies that benefit from campaign contributions.
The United Way will be marketing the agencies, the entire organization and other aspects of the campaign sooner. An announcement about the expanded marketing blitz came Wednesday as the United Way board of directors and its members gathered at the Holiday Inn for the organization’s annual meeting.
The board also elected a new president, handed out awards and recapped its most recent fundraising campaign, which generated more than $1.7 million.
Jackie Harris, campaign and marketing director, said the new marketing plan is a way to spread the word about the agencies rather than just around campaign time.
The United Way will announce this year’s upcoming campaign chairman within the next month, followed by the selection of the campaign cabinet members. The campaign goal amount will be revealed closer to summer, Harris said.
Work will be done toward the campaign a little sooner, but not on the campaign specifically.
Michelle Patterson, vice president of public relations and the public relations committee, “felt it was important year-round for the community to know what the community’s member agencies were doing,” Harris said.
The marketing is a way to let people know how their dollars were being spent, she said.
Through community and business contributions, the $1.7 million raised by the most recent campaign was a $143,000 increase over the previous year.
This year, United Way agencies through community contributions were able to help 75,386 people.
“Every face in this room had a strategic part of this campaign,” said Steve Fisher, chairman of the campaign.
Penny Greer-Link, who has served as vice president for planning on the United Way board of directors, was named its new president. Her first duty was to recognize agency supporters.
Each year, the organization recognizes someone for their outstanding service. “When we looked at the criteria, one person stood out among the rest,” Greer-Link said.
This year’s Helping Hand Award recipient was Guy Hoskins, current president of the board of directors.
Greer-Link said Hoskins is always willing to help, has a positive attitude and keeps the United Way’s best interest at the forefront.
Also awarded during the meeting were several other awards:
• Most Corporate Spirit, Real Reel
The company held meetings with all its employees, gave employees incentives and matched the employee giving three for one. The company had a 327 percent increase in its total campaign.
• Most Employee Spirit, city of Salisbury
This city participated in the Day of Caring, held meetings with employees, gave incentives and held special fundraising luncheons.
• Most Improved, Henkel
This company received the award for the highest percentage of increase in an employee campaign. The company had a 306 percent increase.
• Campaign Chairman’s Achievement Award, Rowan Regional Medical Center
The criteria for the award includes involvement by its CEO and employees as well as improvement to its campaign and getting the United Way message to the employees.
• Best Overall Campaign, less than 100 employees, Bank of North Carolina; more than 100 employees, Freightliner.
This award goes to the companies with the highest per capita gifts combining corporate and employee pledges.
• Campaign Award for Excellence, less than 100 employees, Gerry Wood Auto Group; more than 100 employees, F&M Bank. This award is for overall performance over a three-year span.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.