United Way campaign raises $300,224

by Daniela Armas | 1/10/17 2:10am

This past December, the College concluded its annual Dartmouth United Way campaign, exceeding its goal of raising $275,500 for Granite United Way, a nonprofit organization that operates as a bridge between donors and smaller charities throughout the Upper Valley. The campaign, aimed at raising funds and awareness for service organizations across the state of New Hampshire and Windsor County, Vermont, ran from Oct. 11 to Dec. 15, 2016 and raised $300,224, said co-chair of the 2016 United Way steering committee and executive vice president of the College Rick Mills.

Though the 2016-17 fundraising goal was smaller than that of the 2015-16 campaign, the campaign raised a greater total amount. In 2015, Dartmouth exceeded its goal of donating $295,000 by raising $295,509.

The organizers of the Dartmouth United Way campaign determine each year’s fundraising goal through an annual review process which involves gathering feedback from departments across the college, including the Tuck School of Business. Analyses from these different sectors are then consolidated into the final goal for the entirety of the College. According to Mills, the formation of next year’s goal will likely occur in the spring.

“We will look at our successes and examine ways to improve and reach people that we haven’t before, and I expect that next year’s goal will be larger than this year’s,” he said.

This year’s campaign reflected an ongoing partnership between Granite United Way and Dartmouth College, one which has lasted over forty years. According to Rob Schultz, Granite United Way area director for the Upper Valley, the Dartmouth campaign is the largest in the Upper Valley and one of the top five in the state of New Hampshire.

Granite United Way focuses on aiding causes within the areas of education, health and income. It has a wide range of beneficiaries, including COVER Home Repair, an organization which helps to provide essential repairs to low-income households, and WISE, which helps to prevent domestic violence through advocacy and educational programs. United Way also runs Working Bridges, a workplace program in partnership with local employers, which is aimed at solving day-to-day issues that may prevent employees from coming into work.

“We create a resource which will help solve the problems that are happening at home, whether they be childcare or transportation problems,” Mills said.

Granite United Way is largely operated from the bottom up. Residents of the Upper Valley play an instrumental role in the organization, as they comprise a review board which determines how donor funds are allocated. Donors are also increasingly choosing to direct where their contributions go in what are known as designated gifts, Mills said. Both of these factors reflect Granite United Way’s desire to remain responsive to the residents of the Upper Valley, Schultz said.

The College also attracted 200 new donors during the 2016-17 campaign, largely through small incentive and awareness campaigns. For example, the College offered gift cards to new donors and hosted potlucks. It also completed a volunteer program for Dartmouth employees, which is focused on encouraging employees to donate their time to Granite United Way.