Archive for Friday, November 20, 2009

United Way about $800,000 short of $1.8 million campaign goal

Officials worry that many residents will go without if more donations aren’t made

While campaign officials would not comment on how far along they were, in order to meet this year’s goal — the highest ever — they said more donations would be necessary.

November 20, 2009, 1:00 p.m. Updated November 20, 2009, 1:51 p.m.


As United Way officials tally up results of their 2009 campaign, they’re pretty sure they’ll need additional assistance in meeting their goal of $1.8 million.

So far they’ve received just more than $1 million in pledges, though they’re still waiting on employee campaign contributions to trickle in from 44 businesses, campaign officials said. Contributions are in from 101 groups, which include human service agencies and government entities.

In order to meet this year’s goal — the highest ever — campaign officials said more donations would likely be necessary.

“We really did set a high goal for us, and there have been some challenges,” said Colleen Gregoire, campaign manager and the agency’s local vice president.

Gregoire said business closings and ownership changes have made reaching the goal difficult, but organizers said they were confident it would be reached soon.

Helping meet the higher goal were city and county employees, as well as Lawrence Memorial Hospital workers, all of whom exceeded their campaign goals by 3 to 10 percent. Gregoire also said several new employee campaigns started this year.

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The official campaign ended Friday, but donations are accepted all year, United Way organizers said, in making their final push for donations. Last year, more than $1.75 million was raised.

“We encourage anyone who has not yet made their tax-deductible contributions to give generously, to help those in need,” said Scot Buxton, who is chairing the campaign, along with his wife, Jane.

Donations are distributed in the spring to 24 local agencies that focus on three main areas: health, self-sufficiency, and family and children. A community impact grant is also awarded.

Information about how much donors pledged in workplace campaigns in Topeka and Kansas City will be received after the first of the year, Gregoire said. A total campaign amount would be announced later, she said.

Contributions can be made by contacting 843-6626 or Online gifts are accepted at


labmonkey 8 years, 7 months ago

NO to the United Way. Cut out the middle-man!!!

Richard Payton 8 years, 7 months ago

Do what some other communities did extend the deadline to raise money.

Tom McCune 8 years, 7 months ago

The sooner UW goes under, the better. Quotas have no business in the workplace and many companies in other parts of the country are starting to ban it.

youngjayhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

LJ-W - Can you let us know what percentage/$$$ the UW takes for their fundraising expenses? Thanks!

youngjayhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

UW - Let's not guilt people into giving more than they are comfortable with ... shame on you! Why was such an extravagant goal set in the first place? Hello ... these are tough economic times for most!

sourpuss 8 years, 7 months ago

So if they don't meet their "goal" what are they going to do? Break our legs? Sorry, but the UW is for suckers. They just peel money off for their executives and pass along what is left. Donate directly to groups you want to support.

Confrontation 8 years, 7 months ago

I like how the United Way gives you the option of choosing which agency can use your money. How nice. They make it seem as if they'll give your money in addition to the amount they already planned to give the agency. However, all they do is stick it in the pool for all donations, and then deduct their overhead fees. No matter how much your employer pressures you, and mine does, just write the check out to the agency.

Liberty275 8 years, 7 months ago

I give time and money to my neighbors. friends and relatives. I don't need an organization to decide where my charitable gifts go.

The same goes for the government redistributing the little wealth I earn by working 45 hours every week. Unlike the united way however, the government at all level can legally steal as much money from me as they want via taxes.

Chris Beilman 8 years, 7 months ago

beobachter ... I was in the same boat 30 years ago, but I gave my fair share at work (forced on by the union). Then the recession created massive layoffs and I lost my job. I called my local UW office seeking some extra assistance. The request was denied noting I made too much money and I did not qualify for assistance from any of their sponsored local agencies. I was collecting unemployment at the time and had two babies at home.. go figure!!!
I haven't made a dontation since... Bite Me UW !!

red6102003 8 years, 7 months ago

I would never give to a professional fundraiser ever. I used to work for one about 12yrs ago and generally with all professional fundraisers at the most only 50% goes to the charities and in most cases only 20-30% actually go to the charities. The rest of the money lines the pocket of the staff and generally in alot of cases they get a percentage of whats collected.

jc1221_tks 8 years, 7 months ago

While I may not always agree with the funding decisions, I think the volunteers and staff of United Way have the best interests of this community at heart. I appreciate not getting hit up by every single agency individually. And I still have a chance to give a little extra to those that are particularly near and dear to me.

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