Courtesy of Riana Bruce Goodsky
In many ways, Utah County is unique. Our communities are strong and vibrant, and we have a long history of supporting families and children. We are also fortunate to live in a region with a strong tradition of generosity. There are so many people who give generously of their personal resources to ensure that those who need extra help can find it. Last year, United Way of Utah County recognized that there are other ways to support donations and other ways to express appreciation to donors.
In response, United Way created a new position, that of Manager of Individual Philanthropy. Although this position is usually limited to large United Ways, the generosity of our community is such that we have recognized the need for this position. After doing a lot of training and strategic planning, we are thrilled to announce the official launch of our philanthropic efforts with the first annual Philanthropic Recognition Dinner.
This event, which took place on May 10 and was hosted by Jeri and Stephen MR Covey, was designed to express appreciation to donors who have given $1,000 or more to United Way over the past few years. These donors have had such a powerful impact on our community, especially the children of Utah County. To demonstrate their impact, speakers representing the South Franklin Community Center and the EveryDay Strong Initiative shared stories of how the generosity of donors has helped local families. Students participating in the South Franklin Community Center music program also gave a piano recital. Long-time donors and volunteers also shared their experiences with United Way and how donors can make a difference for local families.
“United Way is selfless and committed to the real needs of our community,” John Lewis, a longtime United Way supporter, said at the event. He spoke of the desire he and his wife had to truly serve in our community. They realized they couldn’t do it themselves and needed an agent to help them do it. They believe this is where United Way comes in.
Susan Richards, United Way Individual Philanthropy Volunteer, shared how the South Franklin Community Center helps neighbors feel a sense of community and improves their education and quality of life. She also discussed the growing incidence of depression and anxiety in our young people and how EveryDay Strong shows caring adults how simple actions can make a difference in a child’s life.
Courtesy of United Way
Wendy Ulrich, founder of the Sixteen Stones Center for Growth, also spoke at the event, building on the principles of United Way’s Strong Everyday Efforts.
“One of the biggest factors in a young person’s life is someone who believes in them,” she said. “Sometimes spending time with one person is what matters most. As adults, we serve the next generation. You can help them as they grow into adults and then serve the next generation.
Events similar to the Philanthropy Recognition Dinner will take place regularly as United Way continues to expand its philanthropic presence. For example, in a few weeks we will be hosting a luncheon at one of our community partners. This luncheon, which is designed for BYU leadership givers, will include a community speaker. These types of events not only demonstrate our appreciation for local leadership donors, but also help donors connect with one another.
While United Way of Utah County has traditionally focused on corporate donations and payroll deductions, this new focus on philanthropy and strengthening the network of generous donors in our community will help us continue to serve local families to coming years. These lead donors, like all Centraide donors, can designate their donations to any non-profit organization.
Through our Corporate Cornerstone program, all administrative costs are covered, so 100% of donations go to the designated recipient. Donors can combine all of their philanthropic donations and know they will go to their designated recipients at no additional cost. By facilitating the giving process, United Way helps donors at all levels find peace of mind knowing that their donation is going directly to the services that need it most.
Courtesy of United Way
As philanthropic giving continues to grow in Utah County, the essential services and programs that support local families can continue to make a difference for years to come.
For more information about United Way’s philanthropic efforts and how to get involved, please visit unitedwayuc.org.