Clock ticks down on United Fund goal

By Bill Colvard -

The United Fund of Surry has reached 94.1 percent of its fundraising goal, and campaign officials are doubling down on efforts to meet the goal in the final 10 days of the campaign.

“We are reaching out in different ways via social media and following up on anyone who has shown interest in giving,” said Will Sheppard, 2018-19 campaign chair. “If anyone wants to do a quick campaign at their office or make a direct donation, we can still do it. We just want to make sure we have crossed all the T’s and dotted all the I’s. We are going to leave no stone unturned to meet our goal.”

United Fund has raised $447,000 of a $475,000 goal. The campaign ends March 31.

“It’s important for people to know this goal is the goal for a reason,” said Merry Craig Boaz, United Fund executive director. “We don’t arbitrarily set some lofty goal. The goal is the amount it takes to fully fund the agencies with the funds we have allotted to them. If we don’t reach the goal, that amount has to be cut.

“The needs of Surry County are tremendous. But so is the support. That’s what makes United Fund so successful, the people who have stepped up. We want to applaud them.”

“The United Fund of Surry is an organization that fundraises for 26 local member agencies,” said United Fund consultant Christina Plitt. “Our goal is to help raise money and awareness in Surry County so our member agencies can dedicate the majority of their time to helping others. Although some of our member agencies have strong fundraising boards of directors, most of our member agencies have employees that have the professional skill set to offer the services they provide, not raise money to cover their budget.”

A contribution can be made to the general fund and the monies touch all 26 agencies. Or, if the donor is more directive in his/her giving, they can allocate their contribution to the preferred member agencies.

“This is attractive to many of our Surry County small businesses that are bombarded with donation or sponsorship requests,” said Plitt. “Through the United Fund of Surry, they can give to all of the agencies with one contribution.”

The following leadership levels are available: Granite Society, $5,000 and above; Pinnacle Club, $2,500-4,999; Blue Ridge Club, $1,000-2,499; Leadership Club, $500-999.

At this time, if a donor prefers, a pledge can be made now and paid monthly or quarterly over a year’s time.

Contributions stay local. The United Fund has decided to remain an unaffiliated local organization so that money raised in Surry County stays in Surry County.

Yearly, all United Fund agencies must provide information on their operating budgets and how their funds are being used. A Budget and Allocations Committee meets with and reviews each agency to determine their funding allocation for the upcoming year. The United Fund makes every effort to ensure that the donations are being put to use responsibly.