Local Editorials

SVM EDITORIAL: Impressed by United Way’s accomplishment

It’s one thing to achieve a fundraising goal. It’s quite another to smash it by more than $7,000. Congratulations to the United Way of Lee County on another successful fundraising campaign.

Fundraising campaign co-chairwomen Mandy Curia (left) and Deb Trancoso lead a cheer before revealing the final tally of money donated duringt the 2018 United Way awards ceremony March 2 at the Post House Ballroom in Dixon. The agency brought in $422,130 this year, surpassing its goal of $415,000.[]

It’s important to put the recently concluded United Way of Lee County annual fundraising campaign into perspective.

And that perspective is this: No United Way of Lee County campaign has raised as much money in the past 7 years as this campaign did.

The 2017 campaign, which wrapped up last week, brought in $422,130.

That number is $7,130 more than the goal of $415,000, or 1.7 percent above what the agency hoped to raise.

That number is also higher than any other campaign since at least 2011, or not long after the Great Recession ended.

The previous 6 years, campaigns raised $419,606 (2011), $395,917 (2012), $388,411 (2013), $407,842 (2014), $420,075 (2015), and $418,010 (2016).

Those who have ever been involved in fundraising know that it is not necessarily an easy task.

For some potential donors, it’s more preferable to come up with reasons not to donate than reasons to tap their bank accounts and make a nice contribution.

The sales job must be renewed every year, as leaders and volunteers of this past year’s fund drive certainly discovered.

But the inspirational thing is, they have a great “product” to sell.

These are human service organizations that help the young, the old, those down on their luck financially, those with disabilities, and more.

And having one fundraising drive that vets charitable organizations, and selects the most worthy and worthwhile to fund, continues to make a lot of sense.

The drive is a feather in the cap of departed United Way Executive Director Jenny Koch, who leaves on a successful note. It is also paves the way for a successful start for the new executive director, Keri Olson, who took the reins of the organization last month.

It’s also good news for member agencies, who can look forward to receiving their full allotments in 2018.

Of course, ample kudos must be given to the hundreds of Lee County residents and businesses who saw the value of contributing to United Way and did so.

An impressive feat, one and all.