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The Dartmouth
February 26, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

United Way effort faces mixed results

Rounding off a busy fundraising campaign for the Upper Valley United Way, Green Key Society and Golden Key Society leaders have organized a January 18th benefit concert and raffle.

According to student campaign co-coordinator Bridget Canavan '02 nearly one thousand dollars have already been raised since the campaign's September kickoff.

Although student contributions in the fall fell below co-coordinator Lauren Reichenback '02's expectations, leaders remain optimistic for the final stretch of fundraising.

"I definitely think that we're capable of raising money ... Students are willing to make a donation if they are reminded enough," Reichenback said in a previous interview with The Dartmouth.

Canavan hopes the benefit concert and raffle ticket sales will push contributions over their 1,500 dollar goal and the campaign plans to wrap up the effort by the end of the month.

Reichenback said she believes the raffle prizes including gift certificates to local businesses such as Bella's and Murphy's, as well as a copper plaque and round-trip tickets to Boston will entice students to purchase the tickets.

In addition, although plans are still being finalized for the benefit concert, Canavan hopes students will be generous with their donations at the door.

However, the student campaign is only one part of Dartmouth College's larger United Way campaign, which has been soliciting professors and other staff to help reach its 190,000 dollar goal by February, according to the campaign coordinator Bill Hochstin.

To date, the College has raised only 84 percent of its goal, which is unusually low for this point in the campaign

"This is a record goal, a real stretch," Hochstin said, explaining the lower than average fundraising.

In addition, "because of the election year people are a little bit slower in giving," Hochstin said, although he noted that the size of individual gifts has increased somewhat this year.

With approximately 159,600 dollars already raised through payroll deductions and employee gifts, Hochstin is confident the College will reach its goal.

"We have already raised what our goal was three years ago," Hochstin said.

The funds the Dartmouth College United Way campaign nets will be directed to the Upper Valley United Way, which hopes to raise one million altogether, Hochstin said.

Although the Upper Valley's fundraising goals have increased eight to 10 percent yearly, this marks their first attempt at raising one million dollars, according to Upper Valley United Way Executive Director Rich Stamp.

Hanover and the surrounding communities have already raised 78 percent of the Upper Valley goal, Hochstin said.

The dollars raised stay within the Upper Valley and are distributed to 28 non-profit organizations such as the Listen Center, Headrest, and the Visiting Nurse Alliance, based on the recommendations of a committee of United Way volunteers, Stamp said.

"As a group they sit down and try to come up with the best funding plan, based on their evaluation of the agencies and their awareness of the problems in the communities," Stamp said of the process through which funds are distributed.

And according to Hochstin, the need for funding has increased in past years.

"Homeless shelters in this area are full every night, all organizations need volunteers. The economy is not booming for everyone," he said.

Structural changes in society, such as an increase in single-parent families, reductions in welfare, and rising healthcare costs have tipped many families over the edge, Hochstin said.