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>  News Releases >   2003 >   May

More employees give to the United Way

Posted 05/17/03, by Amanda Weatherman

Despite slowed economy, trend is stable

The fundraising campaign for the Upper Valley United Way ended last winter, and results show that more people from Dartmouth donated in 2002 than in 2001. The number of Dartmouth donors in 2002 was 974, and in 2001 it was 956. The 2002 campaign reached 90 percent of its goal.

With the exception of the 2001 campaign, the total raised in 2002 at Dartmouth held to a pattern of steadily increasing campaign totals. Charitable donations fluctuate with the economy, said Dana Hanson, Campaign and Resource Development Associate at the Upper Valley United Way, so the 2001 campaign, during which the economy was unusually robust, stands out for the amount it raised.

Bill Hochstin, Chair of the Dartmouth Campaign and Materials Manager at Dartmouth, said that a key to increasing the success of future campaigns is increasing the number of donors, raising awareness of all the programs and getting everyone to understand the positive impact that the United Way agencies bring to the community. The Dartmouth campaign raised $210,638 in 2002, or 90 percent of its goal; compared to $217,446 in 2001, or 97 percent of its goal; and $191,390 in 2000, or 101 percent of its goal. The average donation in 2002 was $216, and in 2001 it was $227.

The amount raised by the United Way's Dartmouth campaign has steadily risen since 1995, spiking in 2001 with a surge in the economy. (graphic by Amanda Weatherman)

"When we set our goals, we want to stretch, because everyone working for the campaign understands the depth of need. We challenge ourselves," Hochstin said. "We try our best to raise as much as possible. I think we did a great job. While every person who has helped in any way deserves a thank you, we also need to acknowledge the quality of service provided by our United Way agencies. When measured against similar institutions across the country, our campaign stands up among the very best."

"The Dartmouth campaign was really reflective of the economy as a whole," said Hanson. "Fundraising was difficult for nonprofits across the whole country last year."

Both Hanson and Hochstin stressed that member agencies relied heavily on volunteer hours provided by members of the Dartmouth community, and while these hours aren't documented, they should be considered part of the package of giving from Dartmouth employees and students.

About 30 agencies in the Upper Valley receive money from the United Way, including LISTEN, Headrest, The ChildCare Center in Norwich, Vt., The Child Care Project at Dartmouth, The Visiting Nurse Association and West Central Mental Mealth. One member agency, COVER (Corps of Volunteers Effecting Repair), initiated with the help of Dartmouth graduates, began in 1998 to repair the homes of low-income families. Member agencies provided services to more than 24,000 people in the Upper Valley during a 12-month period covering 2001-02, in 37 communities in New Hampshire and Vermont. The United Way estimates that two in five Upper Valley residents receive help from a member agency. The greatest number of people seeking help went to health-care agencies, according to United Way figures from 2000-01, and the next most popular programs were for youth and teenagers, then childrearing.

The Upper Valley United Way gives about 85 percent of its revenues to its member agencies, and Hochstin said that most charities spend about 80 percent of their revenue on their charitable missions, while the rest pays for administrative and fundraising costs.

"The economy being rough creates even more need for social services," Hochstin said, "but our agencies have not turned anyone away for lack of funding."

-by Amanda Weatherman

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