Del Vecchio is the type of donor United Way Executive Director Kalei LaFave is hoping to see more often.
"People who have never donated or pledged before are doing it now, whether it's the economy or change of heart," LaFave
The United Way
is a little more than two months away from closing its 2011 campaign, which ends March 31.
The agency is at about 73 percent of its goal of $750,000, LaFave
"We're on pace from last year, but there are two big employers that usually donate that we're still waiting to hear from, which accounts for about $100,000," she
, who marked her
fourth month on the job for United Way
this weekend, has been making presentations to just about anyone or anywhere she
can, "whether it's three or 300."
"Actually, I call them conversations, not presentations," she
"In my mind, yes, we do raise money, but that's not all," she
"We also need to make changes in education and health.
We want to make sure our agencies are helping each other.
We're encouraging our agencies to work together for the cause, and it's been wonderful."
wants to kick off the 2012 campaign earlier than in September, which has been the tradition for the past several years.
"Let's do other fundraising events in the summer, so that when we get to the holiday season, we're not in the midst of our campaign and competing with other fundraisers," she
There already is a big boost on the horizon for the 2012 campaign.
Williams Pipeline has pledged to match up100% up to $100,000 for the proceeds from "Ash Kicker,
" a charity adventure run (see box).
will continue to seek those individual donors like Del Vecchio.
Cowlitz United Way Executive Director Kalei LaFave checks the latest totals of pledges and donors for the agency's annual campaign.
"It's a wonderful, wonderful thing," said United Way Executive Director Kalei LaFave.
"Hopefully, these things motivate others to continue to give."
The battered women's shelter in Kelso, the Children's Justice and Advocacy Center
, Family Health Center
, and Reading
is Fundamental programs were among the 24 organizations to get United Way allocations last year.
Since the 2010 campaign kicked off Sept. 3, the local United Way
has raised $348,586.
Many businesses and agencies are holding workplace fundraisers, and employees are making individual contributions.
So far, Norpac has donated more than $64,000, JH Kelly has given almost $52,000 and Weyerhaeuser has donated $30,000, LaFave
At this point in the campaign, which ends March 31, United Way
has received about $4,000 more than last year.
The 2009 campaign ended with a total of $670,000.
This year, LaFave
said, more individual donors and small-business owners are pulling out their checkbooks.
"People are understanding they now need to give more than ever," she
LaFave, who has been the agency's executive director for three months, attributes the upswing in donors to extra- heavy public outreach this fall.
given presentations at several workplaces, and she
emphasizes that no contribution is too small.
"When you add that up with all the other donors who donate $5, it impacts so many in the community," she
also emphasizes that her
agency wants donors to know how their dollars are spent so they may see the impact of their generosity.
Agencies that apply for United Way funding must provide measurable data showing how United Way's
financial help has helped achieve their agencies' goals in the past and will continue to in the future, LaFave
"It needs to come full circle.
We cannot just ask somebody to give and then not share with them how their dollars impacted in a positive way," she
already is looking ahead to the 2011 campaign.
When the Williams Pipeline's fundraiser for the local United Way starts in May, the company will offer a 100 percent match to all donations up to $100,000, she said.