United Way of Bradley County’s recent Day of Action has been called a “great success,” and with early pledge totals, many of which were reported at the organization’s kickoff luncheon last Friday, the campaign holds strong potential, according to local officials.
“We are so pleased to see that most of the companies that have given us pledge totals for their campaigns have seen increases, and in many cases, record numbers,” said Matt Ryerson, United Way of Bradley County president and CEO.
One of the first to report pledge totals was Cleveland Utilities, which held company meetings in late July and earlier this month. For the past several years, the company had reported pledges in the low to mid-$40,000s.
“This year, Cleveland Utilities exceeded $50,000 in pledges for the first time ever,” Ryerson said. “That is a tribute to the leadership at Cleveland Utilities, as well as the caring men and women who work there.”
This campaign’s first participating company was Target, which actually started its United Way meetings with associates in June. The local store also reported a large increase (33 percent) from last year’s pledge totals.
Cleveland City Schools were just over $29,000 in pledges for the 2012 campaign, but this year, exceeded $33,000 for an increase of 14 percent.
Other companies reporting record high increases in pledges include Athens Federal Community Bank, First National Bank, Brenda Lawson and Associates, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland.
CapitalMark Bank and Trust, which provided funding in 2012 to the nonprofit Resource Library at the United Way, additionally saw employee giving at the company increase this year, Ryerson said.
While not reported at the kickoff luncheon, Flowers Bakery of Cleveland saw an increase in employee giving of 52 percent, from last year’s pledges of $13,352 to this year’s $20,317.
Easy Auto giving once again exceeded $53,000, and the company campaign is not yet complete.
Several other companies that are still in the midst of their campaigns were present at the kickoff luncheon, and afterward, reported to United Way how successful their campaigns are going. Cormetech Technologies reported progress in its campaign, while P&G/Duracell Brand was conducting employee meetings last week. Ed Jacobs and Associates’ campaign is complete, and is finalizing its pledge numbers for United Way and is also anticipating a record-setting total.
These companies are expected to announce totals at the United Way’s first report meeting, which is scheduled for September.
“All in all, we are very pleased with the reports we have been receiving, and many of our larger companies, such as Life Care Centers of America and Whirlpool, will be conducting their campaigns very soon,” Ryerson noted. “I am excited that even though they have not yet conducted their campaigns, both of these companies had participating teams volunteering during our Day of Action last week.”
Ryerson added that while these early pledge reports are positive, there is still much work that must be done to reach the United Way’s goal of $2,075,000.
“We must continue with these good reports and raise as much as possible to help our campaign partners to be able to provide assistance to our community,” he said.
Many local companies have scheduled United Way meetings with employees for September. Companies interested in hosting a representative from United Way of Bradley County to their meetings are asked to contact Patrick Long at 423-479-2020, or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.