United Way of Greater Cincinnati (UWGC) is proud to announce that Kevin Kabat, Vice Chairman and CEO of Fifth Third Bancorp, will chair UWGC’s 100th Anniversary fundraising campaign this year.
The funds raised during the campaign will support achievement of the Bold Goals for Our Region in Education, Income and Health – the three building blocks essential for creating a better life for all.
"I am honored to serve as United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s campaign chair in this historic centennial year,” said Kabat. “We have a unique platform to broaden awareness and support for the relevance of United Way in our community, and to reconnect people with the impact they have helped create over the past 100 years."
Kabat has assembled his Campaign Cabinet encompassing corporate executives, nonprofit professionals and community volunteers across the Tri-State. They have already begun making calls to key corporate and individual leaders, asking that they enhance their support in this special campaign year. “This year’s campaign will serve as the foundation for achieving Bold Goals that will further UWGC’s legacy for the next century,” he said.
Leadership... with compassion for people.
“United Way is excited to have Kevin Kabat leading this campaign in conjunction with our 100th anniversary,” said Robert C. Reifsnyder, UWGC president and CEO. “We’ve been working with Kevin for at least the last 10 months. Kevin brings a great combination of strong business and leadership strength with a compassion for people. He’s an energetic, thoughtful and genuine individual and leader.
"We’re hopeful that people will see our centennial campaign as pivotal to starting our next 100 years with a strong record of growth that will provide impetus for achieving the Bold Goals,” Reifsnyder said.
Kabat and his cabinet are focusing on leveraging the 100th anniversary and tradition to broaden the donor base, enhance continuity between staff and volunteers, expand upon segmentation and promote sustainability.
“Individual contributions and corporate campaigns provide the critical resources for UWGC and its agency partners to pursue and achieve their missions,” stated Kabat. “We must broaden the donor base, cultivating relationships and engaging with new companies and individuals to meet ever-changing and unfortunately expanding needs. To ensure strong leadership of the annual campaigns and programming, it is also paramount to develop continuity amongst a core of volunteers and the United Way staff.”
An example of that continuity is the appointment of Anne Lynch, Chief Financial Officer of GE Healthcare Life Sciences, as the New Business Development Chair. Lynch joins the team with a two-year commitment, a first for that position within the campaign.
Engaging the next generation of young leaders
In order to maximize segmentation, it’s important to work with affinity groups and those that are like-minded in the community, especially ramping up engagement with millennials.
“There are strong correlations between volunteerism and growing a solid base for annual contributions. We must build upon existing leadership giving and affinity programs, by engaging the next generation of our young leaders and developing a new pipeline of members,” said Kabat.
“Finally, we must ensure the sustainability of our United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s legacy by launching multi-year major gifts strategies that help to grow our campaign, and strengthen it for future generations.”
Building sustainability through this year’s campaign is critical to achieving the Bold Goals, and requires keeping volunteers and donors engaged over multiple years. It is important to find ways for donors to make multi-year commitments, and Kabat is trying to raise the bar by creating a new major giving group known as the Centennial Society for leadership gifts of $25,000 or more.
More about Kevin Kabat The CEO and Community Leader
As CEO of Fifth Third Bancorp, Mr. Kabat is responsible for overseeing the bank’s strategic direction, $140 billion in assets, 19,000 employees and 15 affiliates in 12 states. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Investment Advisors. He added vice chairman to his title in September 2012. Mr. Kabat was appointed president of Fifth Third in June 2006, and assumed the role of chief executive officer in April 2007. He previously served as executive vice president of Fifth Third since December 2003. He was the vice chairman and president of Old Kent Bank in Western Michigan, which was acquired by Fifth Third Bancorp in 2001. He joined Old Kent in 1982.
Mr. Kabat serves on the boards of directors of Unum, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the Financial Services Roundtable and the Cincinnati Art Museum. He serves as a member of the Ohio Business Roundtable, Cincinnati Business Committee and the Executive Committee of the ArtsWave Board of Trustees. He has previous experience as a United Way campaign chair, having served in the role during his time in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The 2015 campaign officially kicks off August 26 at noon on Fountain Square. The 2014 campaign raised $61 million. The 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.