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Why The United Way Campaign?

Every year in September, United Way asks the community to rally together toward a common cause.

by Amy Hicks, Executive Director, United Way of Franklin County

It’s September, no doubt about it. The morning air is getting a little cooler, pumpkin spice is making its annual appearance at local stores, kids are back to school, and, yes, the United Way Community Campaign is ramping up.

Every year in September, United Way asks the community to rally together toward a common cause. That cause is improving lives and strengthening our community by raising funds that will be disbursed across community nonprofits to help them carry out their missions. The United Way Campaign has run for over 130 years around the country, and specifically in our community, over 80 years.

The primary reason that United Way runs a campaign is to tackle complex social issues. Problems that face our community— from poverty, to homelessness, to access for education and healthcare, are multifaceted and interconnected. No single person or organization can tackle these issues alone, and there is no “silver bullet” solution that can strike through even one community level issue to create a long-term solution.

United Way works to connect nonprofit organizations, business, individuals, government, and others, as a unifying force, to work collectively toward solutions. When United Way opens the Campaign, it creates a vital fundraising platform to bring resources to organizations that are creating solutions. Through United Way Campaign, resources are pooled to maximize impact. When brought together, the funding through United Way helps power over two dozen initiatives in any given year. In addition, the awareness raised during campaign helps educate community members about the most pressing issues. United Way shares stories and statistics to help people understand the depth and breadth of these issues.

United Way Campaign not only attracts funding, but also volunteers and in-kind gifts to support community. Many people give their time or connect other resources to community projects throughout the course of the Campaign. By mobilizing talent and gifts, United Way extends its impact well beyond financial support.

Perhaps the most valuable resource that is strengthened through the Campaign is relationship. Over the course of Campaign, United Way fosters hundreds of relationships within community. Campaigning creates a listening platform where United Way team members hear about challenges faced through a wide variety of perspectives. The funds raised through United Way bring us to the table for many community conversations. Volunteers create an extended network of people who are observing and listening to understand the needs of our community.

Through Unity and Collaboration, United Way brings about positive change in our community and other communities across the nation. United Way invites all of community to participate and share in a collective voice that represents the investment of our community as well as the needs. Every time United Way steps into a room, we represent community. The funds raised demonstrate the investment of community members, and brought together, United Way is just that, a United voice for improving quality of life.

So, why the United Way Community Campaign? In a complex world, United Way continues to prove that when we work together, we can bring about a better future for all.

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