UPAF campaign reaches record total of $11.7M but falls short of Westside goal

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:38 am

The United Performing Arts Fund set a new record during its 2014 campaign with a fundraising total exceeding $11.7, up by more than $700,000 from 2013 fundraising results.


But in Waukesha County, where the nonprofit organization hoped to raise $1.5 million, it fell short by about $100,000. The organization’s Westside Cabinet Division plans to continue fundraising with an aim to fulfill its original goal by the end of the month.

UPAF, which backs performing arts organizations in southeastern Wisconsin and advocates for their missions, announced the results of its 2014 campaign during a finale event and awards ceremony held Thursday night at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s Quadracci Powerhouse Theater.

The 2014 campaign ran from March 4 through June 5, with support from workplace giving campaigns, corporate and foundation donations, individual donations, fundraising drives led by member groups and affiliates, and proceeds from the 2014 UPAF Ride for the Arts.

“This incredible increase (in the overall campaign) is a testament to the arts landscape in southeastern Wisconsin,” said Bob Arzbaecher, a campaign co-chair and chairman of Menomonee Falls-based Actuant Corporation. “Whether a patron enjoys the arts on the east or west side of the area, or downtown, we’re all working together toward the same goal, and it’s been a pleasure to watch many community members give of their time, talents and resources to achieve this success.”

Therese Burkhart, a community volunteer, and Glen Hackmann, vice chairman of Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird and Co. also chaired this year’s campaign.

“UPAF is greatly appreciative of Bob, Therese and Glen for their unwavering dedication to this campaign,” said Deanna Tillisch, UPAF president and CEO. “On day one of our campaign planning, all three set an energetic tone that never faltered. Their leadership combined with a highly engaged UPAF board of directors, diverse cabinet and determined member group volunteers is what enabled us to achieve another milestone year. This is clearly an effort worth celebrating.”

During the 2014 campaign, more than 220 area companies facilitated workplace giving campaigns, with 31 new campaigns taking flight.

Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual topped out as the largest campaign donor with the largest workplace giving campaign. Through the generosity of employees and retirees, the firm’s fundraising exceeded $800,000.

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