United Way fundraising effort hits halfway mark

by Allison Forbes | 11/22/02 6:00am

After kicking off its annual fundraising campaign earlier this fall, the Upper Valley United Way is looking to the Dartmouth community to raise 20 percent of its expected contributions.

The Dartmouth campaign aims to raise $232,650 by the end of the drive on Feb. 14. As of yesterday, a little over a month after kickoff, the Dartmouth campaign had already raised $115,038 -- nearly half of its final goal.

At this time last year, the Dartmouth campaign had only collected 46 percent of the projected $226,542.

Money raised during the campaign will go to support 29 nonprofit member organizations of the local United Way, which provide charitable services to one-third of Upper Valley residents.

With the slow economy, campaign goals were set higher than last year to meet the increased needs of member agencies, which include Headrest, Hannah House and WISE (Women's Information Service), said Bill Hochstin, the campaign's volunteer chair.

The Upper Valley campaign has raised 41 percent of its $1,166,000 overall goal, which is $66,000 higher than last year.

Upper Valley United Way representative Dana Hanson stressed Dartmouth's pivotal role in the fundraising effort.

"We are very fortunate to count on the generosity of the Dartmouth community -- it's made an incredible difference in the Upper Valley campaign," Hanson said.

Dartmouth has a long history of supporting the United Way, beginning with the first campaign held in 1973, when members of the Dartmouth community raised 30 percent of the community goal.

The strength of the Upper Valley United Way comes from the communication between member agencies, Hochstin said.

"The money stays local," Hochstin said, adding that 84 percent of the money goes to member organizations. Typical nonprofits often devote more money to overhead.

At Dartmouth, Hochstin coordinates 150 volunteers from a variety of departments and groups on campus comprised of faculty, staff and administrators. Forty-eight departments have already exceeded their contributions from last year.

The student campaign will kickoff in January with a benefit concert featuring campus a cappella and dance groups, as well as a raffle of gift certificates from local restaurants and stores. Co-chairs Amanda Johnson '04 and Jill Haltigan '03 hope to raise $2,700 towards the Dartmouth campaign. Haltigan said the $2,200 raised last year beat the goal by $200.

Johnson and Haltigan represent, respectively, the Green Key and Golden Key honor societies and hope to recruit volunteers from both groups.

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