February 20, 2013
United Way aims to build a better Rochester
When University philanthropist and Eastman Kodak founder George Eastman helped found the Community Chest in 1918, he knew the positive impact collective giving could have on a community.
Nearly 100 years later, the organization, now known as the United Way, continues to be one of the most effective ways to help the Rochester community.
The University hopes to build on Eastman’s legacy of giving by raising $1.54 million for the United Way through its workplace campaign.
University President Joel Seligman, 2013 campaign chair for the United Way of Greater Rochester, says gifts to United Way are vitally important to the community. “By working together though the United Way campaign, we are helping to revitalize Rochester for the 21st century,” Seligman says. “Our support ensures that our giving has a direct impact by focusing on our community’s most pressing priorities.”
The Community Fund at work
Donations to the community fund help support proven programs that seek to do the most good in the community.
The four areas of focus are
- Meeting Basic Needs—Ensuring people have access to food, clothing, shelter, and transportation
- Giving Babies the Best Start—Supporting in-home parenting support and education as well as early screening and intervention to help babies become physically and emotionally ready to learn when they enter school
- Preparing Kids for Success—Making sure every young person will be ready for college, work, and life, with a focus on after-school learning and enrichment and mentoring programs.
- Supporting Seniors and Caregivers—Enabling the growing population of older adults to remain independent
New this year
Beginning this year, all agencies receiving funds through United Way have agreed to share fundraising costs on the total dollars they receive from United Way. The cost sharing will allow United Way to continue its commitment to efficiency, financial stewardship of donor’s dollars, convenience, accountability, and focus on solving the community’s most pressing social issues.
Ninety-two cents of every contributed dollar is used to meet community needs.
If you designate a gift to a particular agency, the agency will be informed of the full amount of your gift, and you are able to claim the full amount of the gift for tax purposes, as you have in the past. Because agencies have agreed to help carry the costs of fundraising and that cost will be assessed against the total amount each agency receives, a portion of your gift, in effect, will be used to cover those costs.
“Giving to the United Way is the most efficient way to advance our community,” says Andrea DeMeo, chair of the University’s United Way Campaign. “The United Way is not about just supporting a ‘cause’—it’s about strategically targeting the root causes of societal issues.”
The ePledge system (www.rochester.edu/unitedway/epledge.html), a confidential online donation tool, is available to University faculty and staff. Paper pledge forms also can be downloaded from the University’s United Way website, www.rochester.edu/unitedway.
Pledge before Feb. 28 and you’ll be eligible for a prize drawing. You’ll also be invited to the campaign kickoff breakfast featuring the Midnight Ramblers a cappella group at 8:15 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, in Flaum Atrium at the Medical Center. Call 224-2871 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP. (Note: Continuous pledge donors are also considered “early” donors and, therefore, are welcome to RSVP for the free kickoff breakfast and are already included in the prize drawing.)