The United Way of Greater Victoria has become the fishers of people.
This year’s United Way’s community fundraising campaign target is focused on participation, engaging more of the residents across the Capital Regional District in an attempt to help it support the region’s “most vulnerable citizens, address social issues and create measurable change.”
“The strategy behind all the stuff we’ll be doing this year is to try and grow the donor base,” said Heather Skydt, director of marketing and communications.
Last year, the United Way raised $5.7 million and funded more than 100 programs in the region. This year, the group is funding 111 programs through three priority areas: All That Kids Can Be, From Poverty to Possibility and Strong Communities as well as its Youth/Community in Action Initiative.
The United Way supports several programs in the Sooke region in partnership with Sooke Family Resource Society, Pacheedaht First Nation and Sooke Transition House Society.
But as the need has increased, the number of donors has dwindled.
Two years ago when the United Way campaign topped $6 million, more than 13,000 donars were tabulated. Last year the fundraising goal dipped with only 11,000 donors.
“We know the more people we engage with our cause the more successful the campaign will be,” said Patricia Jelinski, United Way’s CEO.
Skydt said the participation target is a departure from the United Way’s annual public announcement of a financial goal, but the United Way hopes to engage people on many levels – from financial to volunteering.
Adds Jelinski: “We want people to understand that if they join with us, if they join with others under the United Way movement, we can accomplish great things together for our community and our citizens.”
Donations to United Way’s 2015 community campaign are accepted at workplaces, United Way’s office at 1144 Fort St. via phone 250-385-6708 or online at uwgv.ca.