United Way sets campaign goal of $21 million

Posted Thursday, Sep. 27, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

United Way campaigns

2012: $21 million

2011: $20.9 million (goal was $22 million)

2010: $22.51 million (goal was $22.5 million)

2009: $22.1 million (goal was $23 million)

2008: $22.7 million (goal was $24.5 million)

Source: Star-Telegram archives

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FORT WORTH -- After falling short of its fundraising goal last year, United Way of Tarrant County on Thursday set a lower number of $21 million for its 2012 campaign.

Last year, United Way of Tarrant County raised $20.9 million, which was about 5 percent short of the $22 million goal.

At a breakfast meeting at the Fort Worth Convention Center to kickoff the campaign and celebrate the organization's 90th birthday, BNSF Railway Chairman and CEO Matt Rose said he would be disappointed if the goal isn't surpassed.

"We just felt like we needed to make it higher than last year," Rose said. "Really, it's just that simple. You know a lot of these things are about momentum and that's what we're trying to focus on here is getting back, quite frankly, to historic levels over time."

To help give the fundraising drive a boost, BNSF announced that it has already completed its campaign and raised $2.3 million, exceeding its goal by $100,000.

The fundraising goals are in reach, Rose said, as more companies understand how United Way is using its funding and as economic conditions improve.

"The economy, without a doubt, is getting better," Rose said.

United Way must also overcome a $70,000 funding cut from the City of Fort Worth that reduced its contribution to $210,750. That pot of money goes to five programs: Tarrant County Youth Collaboration, focusing on child abuse and neglect; SafeHaven of Tarrant County, domestic violence; Women's Center of Tarrant County, rape crisis; Recovery Resource Council, drug and alcohol abuse; and Tarrant County Mental Health Mental Retardation.

United Way President Tim McKinney said the agency will find a way to make up the funding cuts from the city.

"We have to overcome it," McKinney said.

As for this year's fundraising goal, McKinney said he believes it is attainable, especially with some of the early contributions.

"It's going to be a challenge," McKinney said. "We've gotten some strong commitments early on from our contributors and we feel very good about it."

This year's campaign continues through March 27.

Bill Hanna, 817-390-7698

Twitter: @fwhanna

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