United Way announces $48 million campaign goal

United Way of Greater Milwaukee recently announced it has set its 2011 campaign fundraising goal at $48 million. The goal is $2.25 million higher than 2010’s fundraising goal and includes more than $1 million challenge grant from the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership.

Co-chairs for this year’s campaign are Tom Cardella, president and CEO of Tenth and Blake Beer Company, MillerCoors; Jim Popp, president of Wisconsin and Minnesota for Chase; and Kris Rappe, senior vice president and CAO of We Energies.

“We must raise more funds than we did in 2010. With one in four Milwaukeeans living in poverty, more people are turning to our agency program partners for help,” said Cardella. “Often outside the government, United Way is their largest funder. Plus, we need to make sure that we are raising more dollars that United Way directly manages through its Education, Income and Health initiatives.”

In addition to an increase in need, United Ways net base loss this year in terms of lost companies or individuals was $900,000. The organization did secure the $1 million challenge grant from the partnership between five leading hospital systems in the area. Aurora Health Care, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Columbia St. Mary’s, Froedtert Health and Wheaton Franciscan Health care all participate in the partnership.

“This Milwaukee Health Care Partnership Health Challenge Grant gave us the confidence to increase our projected campaign goal. With the dollars going through United Way, we hope to draw attention to the important work and needs of the community health centers and drive additional dollars from donors,” said Popp, 2011 “Those new dollars would then be deployed in 2012 to fund programs addressing infant mortality, which has become a crisis issue in our community.

According to Rappe, the organization put a call out to health care partners, business partners and residents in the community when the United Way and the City of Milwaukee launched its Infant Mortality Partnership.

The organization is also encouraged by the continued success of its Business Marketing Initiative. Launched in 2010, this program encourages companies of all sizes to give. Last year the marketing initiative helped to secure 200 new corporate gifts and 40 new workplace campaigns. United Way’s 2011 Community Campaign runs through December 13.

“Our partners look to us to tackle the challenges our community faces and be an advocate for change,” said Mary Lou Young, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Milwaukee. “And the only way we as a community will change things for the better is by each of us taking responsibility and playing a role.”

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