United Way Denton breaks $2 million in donations, starts allowing online donors

United Way Denton breaks $2 million in donations, starts allowing online donors

United Way Denton is expecting to reach $2 million in the 2016-2017 donation year according to chairman Greg Sawko’s speech at the organization’s fifth annual United TRIBUTE event held Jan. 21.

Although they won’t know for sure until around April, the local community donation amount is expected to continue to surpass the $2 million landmark for the fourth year in a row. This success follows a pitfall in 2009 where donations dropped by $800 thousand in a three-year period.

“We’re sort of in the process still of doing our final accounting and everything like that for the 2016-2017 year,” said Resource Development staff member, Terry Foor. “We won’t formally announce the results for about another month, maybe month-and-a-half.”

With its uncommon method of soliciting donations, United Way is continuing to make it easier for citizens to give back to their communities, putting in special effort to make sure donations stay local via their Community Fund donation option.  

“The way that we rely on to raise money – and this is true of all United Ways around the country – is we rely pretty heavily on workplace campaigns,” said Foor. “So we partner here in Denton county with a lot of companies big and small to allow employees of those companies to give through their workplace campaign.”

This allows United Way to access donors through businesses where they can sign pledge forms and choose where in Denton they want their money to go. Starting in 2016, employees also have the option to donate online.

“We figured since it was 2017 we may as well join the 21st century,” Foor said.

United Way of Denton hopes to see even larger increases in donations with its individual system.

“It’s [a method] that’s been very successful for many years and we are hoping to continue,” said Foor. “We’re always looking for companies in our area who are interested in allowing their employees to give that way.”

Employees who donate through the workplace also have the option to choose any affiliated non-profit in the area that they wish to receive their donation.

“Our number one fundraising goal is to honor the wishes of our donors, and make sure that money goes to whatever organization they choose to support,” said Foor.

United Way currently has relationships with 20 partner agencies, organizations who meet the criteria for receiving United Way of Denton County grants. Partner agencies include groups like Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas and The Denton Corps of the Salvation Army.

“We use money from that community fund to provide funding for those partner agencies, and then we have some programs of our own that we run,” said Foor. “We call them Collective Impact Initiatives.”

These initiatives cover a wide range of topics such as homelessness, mental health, early childhood education and financial stability.

“We are still kind of tallying our numbers,” said Foor. “What we’re waiting on now is money that comes to our organization from corporations who run fundraising campaigns such as Macy’s, Kroger and Bank of America.”

Because these are larger corporations, the sheer amount of donors can take up to a few extra months before they are all completely processed.

Find out more about where your donations go at unitedwaydenton.org/Financial-Information

Featured Image: United Way of Denton announces that it will be raising over 2 million dollars again this year with its annual fundraising campaign. United Way of Denton is located at 1314 Teasley Lane. Koji Ushio

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