SJ-R: United Way goal: As much as possible to meet needs

Coverage from United Way of Central Illinois’ 2013 Campaign Kickoff

The United Way of Central Illinois usually announces its campaign goal at a kickoff breakfast each year. But this year, tradition was broken with the announcement Wednesday of a “no goal” goal.

“This is the first time we’ve done this,” said John Kelker, president of United Way. “Our volunteers were united in believing that it is their responsibility to raise as much as possible and that the success of the campaign shouldn’t be measured by whether or not a monetary goal is met.”

“This year, our goal is to raise as much money for community services as possible,” said Dan Rayhill, controller/assistant vice president at Hanson Professional Services Inc. and United Way’s 2013 campaign chairman. “We believe that all of us should strive for the day in which volunteers charged with making funding decisions are not challenged with requests that far exceed available funds.”

Last year, United Way awarded $1.7 million to 39 local programs providing food, shelter, health care, victim services and educational initiatives.  But strained agency budgets led to funding requests that exceeded available United Way funds by more $1 million.