United Way honors community contributions with celebration event

Friday, April 2, 2010
United Way of Southeast Missouri Campaign Cabinet and Loaned Executive members hold up numbers announcing their this year's fundraising goal during United Way's Campaign and Volunteer Celebration at Wehrenberg Cape West 14 Cine in Cape Girardeau, Mo., on Thursday, April 1, 2010. (Kristin Eberts)

The United Way of Southeast Missouri's 2009 fundraising campaign contributions leave the organization slightly short of its $1.2 million goal.

An estimated $1,142,858.85 has been raised to date with a few participating businesses yet to turn in their contributions, said Holly Lintner, director of development, during a celebration Thursday at Cape West 14 Cine.

"These are challenging times," United Way executive director Nancy Jernigan told a crowd of about 125 contributors and volunteers. "It is amazing to me to hear the names of these companies and individuals who are giving more. We have a greater need than ever before and we have to keep finding ways to give more."

The United Way's 2009 campaign goal was lowered $25,000 from last year, Jernigan said, adding that many other United Way organizations dropped their goals significantly.

"I have learned that the more challenging your goal is, the more money you raise," she said.

Procter & Gamble was the top contributor to the United Way's 2009 campaign, increasing its contributions by $10,000 this year, Lintner said.

Best Buy had the largest increase in employee giving, increasing donations by 107 percent over the previous year.

The company with the highest per capita giving was UPS, and Nordenia USA Inc. had the largest increase in United Way Leadership Society Membership, people who donate more than $500.

Three people were named Outstanding Employee Campaign Coordinators: Heather Brooks of the city of Cape Girardeau, Lisa Ervin of Nordenia USA Inc. and Todd Shelton of Procter & Gamble.

The United Way has recently shifted its mission from being solely a fundraising organization to becoming a community impact organization, Jernigan said.

"We are excited about this new work but challenged to get the message out to the community," she said.

The United Way's priority now is to strengthen families in the areas of education, income and health. As a result of funds raised in its 2008 campaign about 40 local organizations received allocations for 50 programs.

Money raised during the 2009 campaign will fund programs to improve the graduation rate, meet people's basic needs and provide services for the elderly, victims of abuse and disasters. Administration costs make up about 15 percent of the organization's annual expenses.

Decisions on what local organizations will receive funding will be made this summer.

For more information on the funding review process, contact John McGowan, director of community impact, at 334-9634 or e-mail john.mcgowan@unitedwayofsemo.org.



Top 20

The United Way recognized the top 20 local companies to contribute to its 2009 campaign. These contributions make up 75 percent of this year's total giving.

1. Procter & Gamble

2. Saint Francis Medical Center

3. Southeast Missouri Hospital

4. Nordenia USA Inc.

5. Southeast Missouri State University

6. Jackson School District

7. AmerenUE

8. Southeast Missourian

9. City of Cape Girardeau

10. Schnucks

11. KFVS 12/The Heartland CW

12. UPS

13. Cape School District

14. AT&T

15. Bank of Missouri

16. US Bank

17. Montgomery Bank

18. J.C. Penney

19. Regions Bank

20. BioKyowa

Map of pertinent addresses

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