Stakeholders Letters

United Way of the Greater Dayton Area

Report to Stakeholders

January 2004

Happy New Year!   I write that familiar greeting with heartfelt sincerity because 2004 holds a great deal of promise for our community and your local United Way.   You've expressed your vision for your local United Way and we've responded.   We've realigned and you've responded.   Together we are making real strides in mobilizing the community to support a core network of health and human services.


This is your United Way.   Our community has to determine what it wants and needs, and only the community can decide to have a successful United Way.   We appreciate all of you who have stepped up your support – that's a real vote of confidence in the new direction.   Please help us continue to open new doors and build relationships to sustain the momentum and take the organization to the next level.


Campaign Highlights

As you may have read in the newspaper, the 2003 Campaign is approaching $12.7 million.   We're still waiting for some key reports and even a few employee campaigns to run, before we lock in on a final number to be announced in the spring.   The 2003 Campaign has mirrored the local economy – a brightening forecast but some lingering challenges and worries.   The good news includes 50 companies that increased their campaigns by $3,000 or more to generate more than a half million in “new” dollars.   Yet, downsizing and other economic difficulties at a half dozen companies alone caused their campaigns to fall short by a similar amount.   We can be proud of how well we managed the challenges and can celebrate our many gains.

This year's campaign was not just about 2003.   It was also about building a solid foundation with strategies to sustain success in the future.   We feel good knowing that we have built a solid base for 2004 and beyond:

Strengthened our message to the community about local needs and the United Way network of agencies.

Used technology and enhanced the website to communicate and reduce processing costs by running e-pledge campaigns.

Reached out to new and lapsed donors – meeting the Challenge Grants and securing 56 new or renewed corporate gifts and 60 new or renewed employee campaigns.


I want to thank the community leaders that participated in a news conference on behalf of your United Way in the final days of the public campaign.   Leaders of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, Dayton Development Coalition, Downtown Dayton Partnership, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, and AFL-CIO Regional Labor Council gave a resounding endorsement and urged the community to respond.   Other stakeholders joined the audience for an impressive demonstration of commitment.   Their leadership helped spur a $100,000 increase in the campaign to date.


Community Partnerships Accomplishments

Based on community input and a clear mandate, volunteers are carrying out the new direction to support United Way's community impact efforts, and have much progress to celebrate:

Designed a new Fund Distribution Model that addresses the community's stated desire for a process streamlined for efficiency, stability, and impact, and understandable and fair to all.

Enhanced agency relations – involving the partner agencies in developing the new model, partnership agreement, and standards – to treat agencies as true partners while maintaining United Way's stewardship to the donors.

Completed an initial Community Assessment “snapshot” that provides a sketch of demographic data, trends related to needs, and initial input from people on the “front lines” of human services.

Adopted three Funding Priority Areas from the Community Assessment:

Priority 1 – Children, Youth, and Families

Priority 2 – Positive Living/Vulnerable Populations

Priority 3 – Community Capacity


Continuing to Listen and Respond

Work began at the end of the year to respond to a complexity of community stakeholder feedback and opinions about donor-allocated dollars.   A Designations Task Force was formed by the Board in the fall of 2003 and will make their recommendations in March.  
Volunteers with a broad diversity of perspectives were recruited to grapple with this emotional and important issue.   You have my word that they are working diligently to develop an equitable policy with the best interests of the local community at heart.


A Positive Outlook for 2004

Plans are already underway for the 2004 campaign.   We already have two commitments for sponsored TV spots and will expand our year-round advertising program to print and radio this year.   We're working with the Wright State University Center for Urban and Public Affairs to take our Community Assessment to the next level, and hosting a forum to that end on February 5 th .   These are just a few of the many ways we are starting the New Year with energy and optimism.


I hope you feel good about your United Way.   We thank you for what you've done and ask that you help us do more in 2004.

Marc R. Levy, President

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