A raffle at Buffalo Bills games, scanning programs at area supermarkets, a successful annual campaign in the workplace and a focus on grants and endowments helped the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County raise a record $21.3 million last year.
“While an integrated approach to our fundraising efforts has proven to be successful, we know the true reason that we have been able to reach and exceed our goals is due to the generous nature of our community,” said Dennis Black, vice president of university life at the University at Buffalo and chairman of the 2013 campaign. “Whether it is through an employer, at the supermarket checkout counter or through an online platform, our community understands the importance of helping neighbors and demonstrates it with their willingness to support the United Way. We are truly grateful.”
Black spoke Friday morning at a volunteer appreciation breakfast to commemorate National Volunteer Week, held at and sponsored by the Hyatt Regency Buffalo.
The United Way raised more than $14.3 million as part of the 2013 annual campaign, exceeding the goal of $14.2 million.
In addition, more than $271,000 was raised through scanning programs at Wegmans, Save-A-Lot, the University at Buffalo and Tops Markets. A partnership with the Buffalo Bills for a 50/50 raffle also brought in nearly $167,000, and the second annual Spring It On campaign, a 24-hour giving event, added $125,000 that will benefit not-for-profit community agencies. Efforts to secure first-time workplace campaigns at 70 local businesses raised an additional $84,000.
United Way President Michael Weiner said revenue grew from $15.6 million in 2010 to nearly $21.3 million in 2013, due not only to campaign growth but also to an increased focus on grant funding and endowment and planned giving.
“Each of our volunteers contributes to the success of this organization, which in turn helps to make our community a better place to live. The support we receive from volunteers, no matter how big or small, is critical to making a lasting difference for those in need as well for those who serve,” said Steve Finch, plant manager at General Motors Powertrain and chairman of the United Way board.
The United Way Campaign raised $13.3 million in 2010. The 2014 campaign will officially kick off on the Day of Caring, scheduled for Aug. 20.