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United Way of Greater Cincinnati announces strong progress in 2019 fundraising campaign

'There will be no further cuts in service'
Posted: 10:26 PM, Nov 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-21 11:00:34-05
United Way of Greater Cincinnati.jpeg

CINCINNATI — United Way of Greater Cincinnati announced Wednesday that it has raised enough money in 2019 to avoid cutting its services.

The campaign has raised $49,540,000 so far, reversing a three-year decline in fundraising, the organization announced.

The campaign will continue through the end of the year and is already ahead of 2018’s budgeted total of $48 million.

“Thanks to the generosity of the community, we will maintain funding for all agencies and initiatives and there will be no further cuts in services,” Archie Brown, the CEO of First Financial Bank and chair of this year’s campaign, said in a news release.

United Way’s goal for this year’s campaign is $50.5 million.

“And while our fundraising target is important, the number to keep in mind above all is 330,000. That’s how many lives will be changed, thanks to the generosity of our community as a result of this campaign to date,” Cynthia Booth, the owner of COBCO Enterprises and this year’s campaign vice chair, said in the release.

Last year was especially difficult for United Way.

The controversy surrounding the October 2018 departure of Michael Johnson, United Way’s first-ever African American CEO, laid bare internal divisions at a time when the organization was struggling to raise money.

RELATED: United Way CEO on leave after ‘subtle threats’

United Way’s 2018 campaign closed out last November with just over $50 million in pledges. That was roughly $12 million less than the organization raised in 2015, and it resulted in less funding for the more than 140 nonprofit organizations that get money from United Way each year.

The organization often collects less money than is pledged when employees leave their jobs during a given year or when companies leave town or reduce the number of employees on staff.

In a news release, YMCA of Greater Cincinnati CEO Jorge Perez called Wednesday’s announcement “great news for organizations like the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati and all the agencies United Way supports.”

Interim United Way CEO Ross Meyer said in the release that the organization is “just getting started.”

“Thanks to today’s news, we will help thousands of kids get a strong start in life, when it matters most. We will help thousands of our youth thrive in school and see hope and opportunity in their future. We will put more people into good jobs that can provide for their families. We will help thousands of people overcome any barriers in their way – be it addiction, homelessness or mental illness,” Meyer said in the release. “And, most importantly, we will help more families break the cycle of poverty for good.”

More information about the United Way campaign, including how to donate, is available online.