While a number of companies in Middle Georgia donated more money to the 2012 United Way campaign than the year before, the agency was short nearly $250,000 of its total fundraising goal.
In September, United Way of Central Georgia announced a goal of $4.25 million but announced Monday at its annual meeting in Macon that $4,002,000 was raised.
It was kind of like the perfect storm of events in fundraising, United Way President/CEO George McCanless said after the meeting at the Wilson Convention Center. He moved into his position in December and served as board chairman last year.
I knew it was going to be a challenging year, he said.
Other United Way groups were experiencing many of the same issues, he said.
What we were hearing, the (United Way) campaigns were going on from September into November and so with the election and this talk about a fiscal cliff and people arguing over taxes, a lot of companies were cautious, he said. Also, people knew that Social Security taxes were going up Jan. 1, so they were pulling back.
The United Ways combined federal campaign was down, most likely due to sequestration, he said.
A couple of companies had some once-in-a-lifetime business challenges where they werent able to run the company campaign as they had in the past, McCanless said.
This is not the first time the United Way goal was not reached. Over the past decade, its gone down almost half the time, he said. We expect next year a good chunk of the difference well get back. Well get out and work harder next year.
During Mondays meeting, attended by about 230 people, McCanless praised the efforts of State Bank and Trust Co. executive Dan Forrester, who was the 2012 campaign chairman.
We faced an extremely difficult fundraising climate this year, but are so pleased that we did raise more than $4 million to help improve lives right here in central Georgia, McCanless said.
Also, he announced Theresa Robinson, regional external affairs manager for Georgia Power, as the 2013 campaign chairwoman.
Top 10 Middle Georgia contributors
Georgia Power, $219,743
Combined federal campaign, $191,628
State Bank and Trust Co., $104,117
Mercer University, $102,732
Frito Lay, $89,932
GE Capital, $88,357
The Medical Center of Central Georgia, $87,013
Armstrong World Industries, $85,908
United Ways annual campaign supports 58 programs of 32 local partner agencies. It funds health and human services that have a measurable impact in 14 Middle Georgia counties and affects more than 100,000 people annually.
To reach writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.