LaKisha Bryant Bruce, president and CEO of United Way of Southwest Georgia, gives an update on the organization at its annual meeting on Monday. For the 2013 campaign year, United Way raised just over $1 million. (Staff Photo: Jennifer Parks)
United Way of SWGA Annual Meeting
LaKisha Bryant Bruce, president and CEO of United Way of Southwest Georgia, gives an update on the organization.
ALBANY — While the federal furloughs caused giving to drop during the 2013 campaign year, officials are hopeful that the upcoming campaign for United Way of Southwest Georgia will be a strong one.
United Way held its annual meeting Monday afternoon at its office on North Westover Boulevard. An update was given on the results of the 2013 campaign, and recognition was given to a few businesses in the community that made their contributions.
The campaign total from last year was $1,012,783.27 with a goal of $1.2 million. The total included the funds raised in the Combined Federal Campaign, which was $174,945.32 compared to $221,700.50 the previous year when the organization managed to raise $1.1 million.
The decrease in contributions was attributed by United Way officials to federal government sequestration and furloughs during the campaign season. The furloughs were activated in the fall, around the same time the campaign began.
As a result, those impacted by those cuts still gave, but less than they generally do.
“Giving was down, but we are grateful for the support we had,” said LaKisha Bryant Bruce, president and CEO of United Way.
In the meantime, Bruce said, United Way was able to streamline internally and to appeal to new donors so that personnel did not have to be cut.
The pacesetters, those who got a jump start on their fundraising ahead of the campaign kick-off, recognized on Monday were Target, UPS, Publix, Georgia Power and Procter & Gamble. The Community Campaign Partner Agency Award went to the Albany Advocacy Resource Center, and the Campaign Rejuvenation Award went to MillerCoors, Publix, Ameris and Georgia Power. The Increased Giving Award went to Salvation Army, Albany Area YMCA, Walmart, Boys & Girls Club of Albany and Enterprise. The Caring Connection Award went to Publix Supermarkets and Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital for raising $75,825 and $41,038, respectively.
The Community Ambassador Award went to Procter & Gamble for raising $303,098 on behalf of United Way.
United Way reaches out to 22 non-profit organizations, with 28 partner programs under those. The 2014 campaign is expected to kick off in the fall, at which time it is expected that United Way will announce its goal for the season.
“At this point, we are trying to decide what the goal will be,” Bruce said. “We don’t know what the federal side will do.
“My personal hope is to get back to the level of giving we were at several years ago.”
New officers for the agency’s board were also introduced on Monday. Eric Hooper of Moore, Clark, DuVall & Rodgers will soon be replacing Rachelle Scott of Procter & Gamble as the board’s chair.