Dear Valued Friends of United Way,
The success of a local United Way campaign is closely tied to the strength of the local economy. Still, it's also influenced by lots of other factors – unexpected events like natural disasters, increasing competition for charitable dollars, changing demographics, the uncertainty of political elections, and the general mood of the community. We have had our challenges in Miami County!
One of the ways the Indiana Association of United Ways has helped local communities build our fundraising profile amidst ever-changing challenges is by offering a matching grant opportunity every couple of years through the support of Lilly Endowment. We are required to submit a plan for raising our match that will expand our engagement with individuals and businesses in our communities to build a sustainable increased base of support.
This year we received a new grant that can bring in $30,000 in matching funds. Our plan outlines numerous strategies: new and increased workplace giving, new corporate gifts, increased gifts from current individual donors, and lapsed donors. Our goal is to engage at least one new donor to give at least $15,000. The gift from the individual or a business will be matched 1:1. We'll include all the recognition online, print publications, and an ad in The Peru Tribune when we reach our goal. We have several other ways to have your donation matched this year.
Any donor who increases their donation by 5% qualifies for a 1:1 match. A donation of $250 as Emerging Leaders; with a $500 annual gift, donors become Active Investors; Leaders begin at $1,000 annually, become a Leaders Givers. We also have a $10,000 Tocqueville-Society. We hope that by finding a way to recognize and thank donors, we can form a lasting relationship that satisfies the desire to make our home community more robust and create a place where we all can thrive. The United Way movement is unique among charitable endeavors because it builds relationships between individuals, from every level of financial capacity within their communities.
For several years, we have held community conversations across our county, we have heard from everyone that being part of the solution is essential. We have also heard that people welcome some direction with that task. We take that challenge to heart at United Way by providing lots of ways to contribute, including volunteering, and by working with lots of recipient partners to invest those contributions in a way that will provide the most impact to our residents.
One of the reasons our community will endure this difficult time is the tremendous system of caring that exists in large part donors who support our local United Way. United Way has provided significant funding for our food pantries, those struggling for assistance due to being laid off or terminated during this crisis. Also, the 2-1-1 information and referral service serves as a critical link between those who need help during and after disasters can provide help.
Because of United Way's vital role in strengthening our community for the long term, this year's United Way annual campaign is critically important. Even as we help those at the forefront of the recovery effort, we must continue to address the issues that face our community before COVID – 19 while maintaining the base of critical services and providing for the future.
We hope you will consider investing in our community through a gift to the United Way. Your help is crucial to our community's future. Please give to the annual campaign and help us continue finding solutions to our community's we shape. This is particularly evident today here in Miami County, where "People Helping People Fund Solutions."
Currently, the United Way of Miami County has raised over $358,000 in grant funds to help businesses, employees, families, and individuals impacted by COVID. These are businesses that have had to reduce their workforce or, even worse, close their doors. They are families and individuals who have had their hours cut, laid off, off lost their job due to COVID.
UW's data quantifies the need that 28% of work families (ALICE) and 14% of low-income families live in Miami County are struggling to make ends meet. Low-income families and ALICE households residing in Miami County say they are forced, not to pay their utility bills or put food on their table. The lack of spendable revenue has impacted their household due to the pandemic virus.
Thank you for your support of United Way if you have given in the past. For more information, please watch the two-short videos. One is our campaign video, and the other is a presentation from the United Way directors.
Carrie Young, United Way Campaign Chair
Marcia Minard, United Way Board President
Debi Wallick, United Way Executive Director