CINCINNATI – United Way campaign chair James L. Wainscott announced a goal of $63 million at today’s campaign kickoff on Fountain Square. If achieved, the result would set an all-time record for United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s annual campaign.
“True to our theme for this year’s campaign, we are encouraging the region to ‘ASPIRE to Greatness’ and make great things happen in the campaign and in our communities,” said Mr. Wainscott, chairman, president and CEO of AK Steel. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank our campaign cabinet and volunteers, our pacesetters, the United Way staff and all who participate in this year’s campaign for making a positive difference in the lives of others.”
This year’s goal includes $61 million targeted at maintaining a base of support that will enable United Way to continue the significant progress made through agency partner programs and strategic initiatives.
“The Bold Goals for Our Region drive everything United Way of Greater Cincinnati does. That includes being central to our development of a community fundraising goal,” said United Way president Rob Reifsnyder. “Achieving the Bold Goals is clearly not solely United Way’s challenge – it’s the work of many, many organizations and individuals in our community.”
Above and beyond the annual campaign, Mr. Wainscott has also been helping United Way introduce a new Accelerator Fund this year. This fund allows donors to make targeted, multi-year investments in proven strategies designed to produce lasting change in the areas of education, income and health. The goal for this pilot effort is $2 million, which represents the remainder of the total $63 million goal for this year’s campaign.
“I would like to thank the companies and foundations that have already contributed to the Accelerator Fund this year and urge others to consider participating as well,” said Mr. Wainscott. “Your generosity will help United Way achieve more than incremental gains in its efforts to achieve the Bold Goals for Our Region.”
To date, more than $700,000 has been committed to the Accelerator Fund by the following organizations:
- AK Steel Corporation
- Drees Homes
- Duke Energy
- Fifth Third Bank
- GE Aviation
- Macy’s Inc.
- Ohio National Financial Services
- PNC Bank
- Thomas J. Emery Memorial Trust
- Towne Properties
- University of Cincinnati
“This is an aspirational goal,” said Reifsnyder. “It won’t be easy. That said, we are fortunate to live in an incredibly generous community, one that recognizes the importance of ensuring children get off to a strong start and achieve success in school, families have the financial stability that can come with gainful employment, and individuals lead healthy lives.”
United Way has already shifted its resources to focus more heavily on the kindergarten readiness and gainful employment Bold Goals as its top two priorities.
- Success By 6® and its partners have driven a 30-percent increase in the kindergarten readiness rate since 2006. In 2013, 57 percent of Cincinnati Public Schools students and 53 percent of Northern Kentucky students were assessed as “ready for kindergarten.”
- Since 2009, United Way-managed Partners for a Competitive Workforce and its partners have helped nearly 8,000 people prepare for in-demand jobs with 73 percent retaining employment beyond 12 months.
These and more results can be found in United Way’s 2013 Report to the Community.
To date, the 2014 campaign has raised $8.3 million through Pacesetter campaigns and early Leadership Giving gifts. Most notably, AK Steel more than doubled their campaign.
Beyond fundraising, United Way is asking individuals to become advocates for positive change by joining the United Way Advocacy Network. Individuals and families can also find volunteer opportunities through United Way Volunteer Connection.
The annual United Way campaign includes Hamilton, Clermont and Brown counties and the Middletown area in Ohio; Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton counties in Northern Kentucky; and Dearborn and Ohio counties in Southeastern Indiana. It is a fundraising partnership of United Way and the Greater Cincinnati Region of the American Red Cross. Campaign chairs for the four geographic areas are:
- Northern Kentucky: Brent Cooper, president, CEO and founder, C-Forward
- Middletown Area: Daniel J. Picard, Picard Law Firm, and Tammi E. Thompson, Picard Law Firm
- Eastern Area: Jeffrey Graham, president and market leader, Mercy Health-East Market
- Dearborn and Ohio Counties, Indiana: Peter V. Resnick, retired, CEO/executive director, Dearborn County Hospital
The campaign ends October 30.