Last updated on August 31st, 2021 at 12:56 pm
The United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County announced it is aiming to raise $55.5 million through its community campaign this year.
The organization kicked off its 2021 campaign with a virtual event Wednesday evening.
Its 2020 campaign brought in $60.1 million, exceeding an original goal of $55 million. The two previous campaigns before that pulled in roughly $56 million.
This year’s campaign is co-chaired by Stacy Williams, senior vice president of Baird; Coreen Dicus-Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Network Health; Joan M. Prince, vice chancellor emeritus of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee; and Mark Irgens, CEO and manager of Irgens, which sponsored the kickoff event.
“Once again, we are so fortunate to have an impressive group of leaders chairing our campaign,” said Linda Benfield, board chair for United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. “We are so grateful for their energy, passion, and commitment to our community.”
Funds raised through the annual campaign fund local efforts related to health and human services in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties.
United Way leaders also announced the organization’s key initiatives for the year, including its new racial equity portfolio.
Plans for the portfolio were first announced earlier this year, when United Way leaders unveiled that a portion of philanthropist MacKenzie Scott’s $25 million gift to the organization would be directed to racial equity initiatives.
The racial equity portfolio is focused on increasing funding to Black and brown-led organizations and “advocating and supporting Black and brown-led ideas,” the organization said.
“We know that we will do this better side-by-side with the community,” said Amy Lindner, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. “We are so fortunate to have an advisory committee of community members focused specifically on racial equity and justice. Members will represent the communities that we seek to support through our investments.”
Other major initiatives for United Way this year include its Safe & Stable Homes initiative to end family homelessness in the region by 2023; reducing barriers to employment and advancement, an effort led by United Way’s Diversity Leadership Society; and its Community Schools partnership with 15 Milwaukee Public Schools sites.