United Way hopes to raise more than $60 million in area

Fundraising campaign will run through Dec. 14

United Way representatives and children gather on a stage at the Milwaukee County Zoo on Aug. 31, 2016 to announce the campaign fundraising goal.

The United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County has set its 2016 fundraising bar slightly higher than last year.

United Way representatives and children gather on a stage at the Milwaukee County Zoo on Aug. 31, 2016 to announce the campaign fundraising goal.
United Way representatives and children gather on a stage at the Milwaukee County Zoo Wednesday to announce the campaign fundraising goal.

The organization aims to raise $60.125 million over the next four months. The United Way’s 2015 fundraising goal was $60 million.

The goal was announced Wednesday night during the organization’s campaign kickoff event at the Milwaukee County Zoo. The money raised will support the United Way’s more than 220 programs and 110 partner agencies in southeastern Wisconsin.

“Our community is at a crucial tipping point,” said Richard Meeusen, chairman, president & CEO of Badger Meter, Inc. and campaign co-chair. “The bottom line is that we have much more work to do to make our four-county region stronger, safer, healthier and more united. Gifts to the Community Fund ensure that United Way is able to address the root causes of issues that affect our community the most.”

The organization also announced it has set a volunteerism goal for the next four months. The United Way is hoping to get volunteers to commit to 16,750 total hours of service during its “Season of Caring” initiative, which began in August and will run through December.

United Way of Greater Milwaukee merged with United Way in Waukesha County last year to pool resources.

The organizations completed separate fundraising campaigns in 2014. That year, United Way of Greater Milwaukee raised more than $54 million and the Waukesha County chapter pulled in $4.3 million.

“Our community’s problems are interrelated.” said Mary Lou Young, president and chief executive officer of the united Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. “Only the Community Fund’s diversity of programs work together to address the complex causes of poverty, teen pregnancy, homelessness, and many others – in a way that no single agency, donor, volunteer, or sector of the community can do alone. We are counting on our community to rally together and create lasting change.”

The fundraising campaign will run through Dec. 14.

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Ben Stanley, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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