The United Way of Southern Kentucky is working to meet its goal of about $1.7 million during its campaign season, which traditionally wraps up at the end of October.
Giving from companies that have completed fundraising campaigns is up about 7.5 percent from last year, said Mandy Baker, director of volunteering and brand management for United Way of Southern Kentucky.
As of Monday afternoon, United Way had raised $500,307 toward its goal, she said in an email. The goal this year is to raise $1,722,000. Last year, United Way raised $1,652,914.
October is the busiest month for United Way campaigns, with about 47 percent of fundraising campaigns going on during the month, she said. Overall, about 150 companies will run either an employee payroll deduction campaign, a corporate giving campaign or both this year.
“Obviously, we still have a lot of work to do toward this campaign,” Baker said.
While companies are encouraged to wrap up campaigns by Oct. 31, United Way’s fiscal year doesn’t end until Dec. 31, and the organization tries to work with individual companies to do what works best for them.
The campaign season kicked off in August, she said.
A majority of the money raised by the United Way benefits partner agencies, ranging from Hospice of Southern Kentucky to the Family Enrichment Center in Bowling Green, which operates Wee Care Nursery among other services, Baker said.
“It literally touches people from the cradle to the grave,” she said.
Among the companies that have seen increases in giving this year was the General Motors Bowling Green Assembly Plant. Employees pledged more than $78,000 to the United Way, an increase of about 26 percent compared to the previous year, according to a news release from the United Way.
The committee in charge of organizing the campaign set big goals for assembly plant donations, said Dave Tatman, plant manager. He is also a member of the United Way board of directors.
They wanted to get 300 people to participate in the fundraising campaign at the assembly plant, he said.
“We blew that goal away,” Tatman said.
He said he’s waiting to announce the total number of people who participated to plant employees later this month.
Overall, Tatman said he isn’t surprised at how well assembly plant employees responded to calls to give to United Way because they have such giving hearts.
“Faced with a challenge, they always respond,” he said.
Tatman said he likes United Way because it is an efficient way of giving that stays in the local communities. “Those volunteers know our community in a very real way,” he said.
United Way of Southern Kentucky serves the 10-county Barren River Area Development District.
Another business that has seen increased giving this year is English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, which saw a 20 percent increase in giving this year over last year, said Travis Armstrong, firm administration and campaign coordinator.
It raised $7,836, he said.
In addition to donating money to United Way, employees this year have also participated in other United Way activities such as the Day of Caring, he said. During the Day of Caring, people volunteer to complete neighborhood projects.
“I think that goes a long way toward helping people realize what’s out there and what people deal with daily,” Armstrong said.
People can donate to the United Way through payroll deduction campaigns at work as well as individually by going to liveunitedtoday.com and clicking on campaign central and online donation options.