United Way of Tarrant County will launch its $22 million workplace campaign Friday, but not with the traditional celebration gathering.
The campaign will start with a "virtual kickoff": a video message e-mailed to United Way supporters, a tool some other United Way agencies have used successfully, said Tim McKinney, United Way CEO.
The message will outline the agency's work in education, financial stability and health.
"It's a little different," McKinney said. "And it helps us manage our budget because we don't have to spend a lot on the kickoff event."
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The agency's goal of $22 million is less than last year's goal of $22.5 million, which the campaign narrowly exceeded. Economic uncertainty caused by the sluggish recovery from the national recession led the agency to scale back the goal from $24.5 million in 2008.
United Way officials set the 2011 amount after consulting with donors, especially companies and business leaders, McKinney said.
"There is just a little bit of economic head wind out there this year," he said. "But $22 million is a heck of a lot of money to raise, and it's going to do the community a lot of good."
Agency officials said the virtual kickoff is part of an effort to use social media for fundraising.
"We hope it will attract an expanded audience this year," McKinney said.
The campaign involves hundreds of workplaces in Tarrant County. Fund drives have already started at some companies, such as Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Oncor and DFW Airport, according to the agency.
The campaign will end Feb. 15.
Alex Branch, 817-390-7689