With only a month left until the annual Sedalia-Pettis County United Way campaign luncheon, the organization is only 6 percent away from its campaign goal.
SPCUW announced its 2015-16 campaign goal of $505,696 during the August kickoff, and now the organization is about $28,000 away from reaching it.
“We’re still working on it, we have not given up yet,” said Executive Director Staci Harrison. “There’s still time for people who are thinking about donating or time for people to send in a little more money. We’re doing our best to reach 100 percent for our community.”
This is Harrison’s first full campaign as executive director, as she joined SPCUW at the end of the 2014-15 campaign. She said this year the fundraising team has had 51 workplace visits, up a little from previous years. She said those extra workplace visits along with incorporating SPCUW funded partners into the campaign teams for the first time “really helped.”
So far 30 businesses and entities have increased their giving from last year, and nine were either new or “revitalized their giving” after not giving for several years, which Harrison said “was very encouraging.”
This year’s campaign will not only help SPCUW’s funded partners, but it will also help fund the new community impact model that SPCUW has begun to implement in Pettis County.
“We’re sharing with individuals we’re not only fundraisers but we’re looking for ways to be able to provide lasting solutions to break cycles of poverty in Pettis County,” Harrison explained. “That’s been part of our message as well because services provided are part of that model; we’re continuing to work on further collaboration because Pettis County is a model for the state as far as services collaborating.
“The community impact model is a step above that. We’re going to be identifying actual processes and programs that are not here that can be implemented to reach those goals of increased attendance, school readiness and reading at a third grade level.”
SPCUW has an ultimate goal of helping to raise the median income in Pettis County by 10 percent through education, health and income initiatives. SPCUW has chosen to start with education and those three “building blocks.”
Harrison and the SPCUW board are working with community partners such as Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County and State Fair Community College as well as all Pettis County school districts to find lasting solutions rather than band-aid fixes.
To help get that final 6 percent, Harrison, Campaign Chair Deanna Clark and the rest of the campaign team are providing information and support to individuals and businesses who have participated in the past but haven’t contributed yet this year.
“We’re just looking at every possible avenue to try to close that gap because every single dollar that’s received, it helps with the services that are received in Pettis County,” Harrison said. “A lot of individuals are skeptical; when people hear United Way, they think, ‘if I donate to United Way it’s going to United Way Worldwide,’ but that’s not true. Ninety-four cents of every dollar we raise goes to support services in Pettis County. The 1 percent that does leave, we get that back twofold because we have trainings, marketing and national support where we can enhance services and the quality of support our United Way office provides.”
SPCUW is moving to an all-year funding cycle so donations are accepted year-round, but for donations to be included in the campaign total, they must be made by the Feb. 19 luncheon.
“Every cent matters — some people say they only have a few cents or dollars to give; that $5 matters,” Harrison said. “It doesn’t matter how minimal of an amount it may be, all of it adds up.”
Donors can choose to designate their donation to a specific SPCUW partner or donate to the campaign as a whole, which will be distributed among the partners.
For more information about SPCUW or the campaign, call 660-826-2980 or visit www.spcuw.org or www.facebook.com/spcuw. Those who are interested can donate online or mail donations to 3615 W. Broadway Blvd. Suite 307, Sedalia, Mo., 65301.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.