This year's McLean County United Way campaign has a goal that's only slightly above the amount raised last year. In 2011, donations totaled $4.3 million and this year organizers hope to bring in $4.35 million. Campaign Chair and Country Financial executive Barb Baurer says sizeable leadership contributions around $500 are important but so are the smaller donations.
"But we're also talking with people who haven't contributed before about starting with maybe just a dollar a paycheck just to get started. We've got a couple people that are working actively with the retiree community."
She says early surveys of company executives indicate obstacles such as last year's loss of Electrolux as an employee donation base shouldn't be a problem this year.
"We are not facing the loss of companies out of our community so it's stabilized. The overall attitudes were positive. There's a lot of enthusiasm and excitement."
Baurer says the Country Financial pacesetter drive sets the stage for an exciting fall of fundraising.
"It's only $3.5 million to go so I think the rest of the community will step forward and help us hit that goal."
The pacesetter campaign brought in $631,181. That's a 6% increase over what the Illinois Farm Bureau groups raised last year. Baurer says campaign officials have high hopes the Bloomington insurance giant won't be needed to rescue the campaign in its final weeks. Each of the last two years, State Farm has made additional gifts so the goals would be reached. The United Way funds 66 human service programs and initiatives in McLean County.
(Above, Country Financial employees play a 100-inning softball game. The event, on the company's lawn, was a highlight of the United Way pacesetter campaign.)
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