published Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

United Way campaign sets fundraising record

The United Way of Greater Chattanooga outpaced an improving economy and raised a record $11,950,726 in its 2010 community campaign, officials said.

"It's not enough to meet all the needs, but it's a lot of resources," Chairman Bill Stacy told about 125 people who attended the organization's annual meeting Tuesday.

The amount exceeded the previous record of $11.9 million raised in 2007 and enabled the organization to reach its fundraising goal for the 88th consecutive year.

The 2009 community campaign raised $11,635,723. This year's goals were $11.5 million and $11.8 million.

United Way board Chairman Nick Decosimo noted that campaign giving had risen from $10.7 million following the economic downturn in 2002 to the 2010 record amount.

In doing so, he said, the organization moved from "a federation that raised financial support for a few very good programs to an organization that is now partnering with funded and nonfunded organizations to change social conditions across our entire community."

In late December, with just two days to go in this year's campaign, in a last-minute appeal for funds, the organization said it had raised a little more than $11.2 million with some companies yet to report.

Stacy said he believed second-mile giving and the gifts of retired residents made the difference.

"It surprised me all over again ... how generous and kind Chattanoogans are," he said.

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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