United Way campaign chair Ted Torbeck announced a goal of $62.1 million at today’s campaign kickoff on Fountain Square.
“Cincinnati Bell is excited to lead this year’s campaign, and to support United Way, which plays a critical role in this region,” said Torbeck, president and CEO, Cincinnati Bell.
“I’m so impressed with the rigorous, disciplined approach of our United Way. They are tremendous stewards of the community’s generous contributions, and they and their partner organizations consistently show they are driving positive results every day.”
Joining Torbeck and hundreds of other lunchtime guests at the kickoff, UWGC president Rob Reifsnyder thanked Cincinnati Bell and Torbeck for their leadership. “United Way is excited to have Ted Torbeck leading this year’s campaign. Ted has a strong commitment to improving our community. He began connecting with people throughout our community almost as soon as the 2015 campaign ended, sharing his passion for United Way’s work fighting for the education, financial stability and health for everyone in our community.”
Torbeck and Reifsnyder agree that the goal announced today is a challenging one and is a commitment to build upon last year’s Centennial Campaign—which raised $62 million—to continue progress toward achieving the Bold Goals for Our Region, helping move children and their families out of poverty.
“United Way creates life changing moments in our community, but it will take everyone in our community connecting and coming together to make a difference and meet this goal,” said Torbeck. He also thanked students from Oyler School in Lower Price Hill who joined him on stage to unveil the goal, and lauded Oyler as an inspiring example of what happens when the community works together.
The dollars raised in the annual United Way campaign are critical to continuing progress and achieving results such as:
• Participation in quality preschool directly affects kindergarten readiness and third grade reading rates. 52% of children are prepared for kindergarten in Cincinnati (Cincinnati Public Schools), up from 44% in 2006; 55% are prepared in Northern Kentucky. Half of all incoming kindergartners still lack preschool experience.
• Getting 3,000 more families support through home visiting. 95% of children in United Way-funded home visiting programs are developmentally on track, yet only 20-25% of the at-risk families that need these programs are reached.
• Getting 15,000 more people in in-demand jobs. 10,108 individuals have been trained for in-demand jobs since 2008; 78% obtained employment and increased earnings by an average of $7,500. 30% of our region’s residents are still not making ends meet.
To date, the 2016 campaign has raised $8,423,555 through Pacesetter campaigns. Notable results to date include campaigns at companies including The E. W. Scripps Company, Atkins & Pearce, Inc., ECO Engineering, AK Steel, and Western & Southern Financial Group, as well as 39 United Way agency partners.
Building on the momentum of last year’s launch of the Centennial Society for donors of $25,000 and above, eight new members have joined that exclusive group to date in 2016. Forty new members have committed to membership in the Tocqueville Society for donors of $10,000 and above.
Reifsnyder also recognized generous corporate contributors to the Accelerator Fund, introduced two years ago to help drive results to achieve the Bold Goals for Our Region. It allows donors to make an additional targeted, multi-year investment in proven strategies. Eight organizations have made commitments totaling more than $465,000 to the Accelerator Fund:
• Farmer Family Foundation
• Fifth Third Bank
• Emery Foundation
• University of Cincinnati
• Shepherd Family
• School Outfitters
• UC Health
• Convergys Corporation
United Way is also continuing outreach to YPs, inviting individuals to join more than 1,000 donors over the past two years as United Way LINC members ($250 level) and consider becoming a LINC champion within their organization. To learn more, contact Treva.Brinkley@uwgc.org
Among the special activities planned for this year’s campaign, Step-Up Cincinnati – a walking challenge – is open to organizations looking to add some friendly competition to their wellness programs. Dollars raised support our region’s new community health agenda, Gen-H. United Way is a partner. Visit genh.healthcollab.org/step-up-cincinnati-2016 to learn more and sign up.
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.
Regional campaign leaders:
• Northern Kentucky: Andrew T. Hawking, regional president, Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Region, BB&T
• Middletown Area: Anita Scott Jones, hospital relations manager/community outreach, Atrium Medical Center
• Eastern Area: David C. McNutt, senior vice president and head of Claims, American Modern
The campaign is a fundraising partnership of United Way and the Greater Cincinnati-Dayton Region of the American Red Cross. The campaign ends October 28. Give online at uwgc.org/donate