GREAT FALLS – United Way of Cascade County announced the campaign total they raised in 2018 on Thursday night, which totaled $1.1 million.
The money raised was five percent higher than last year’s total and it sets a record for the nonprofit’s local fundraising campaign.
In 2018, more than 3,000 people donated to United Way. Out of the total, 63 percent was donated by 30 Pacesetters, who are employees who commit their support to building the community through United Way.
Over the past five years, the United Way Campaign has grown 19 percent and has raised over $5.7 million.
The money raised will continue to be invested in community impact work and nonprofit programs that advance education, financial stability and health.
President of United Way Gary Owen said these three things are the main focus of United Way.
Owen said, “Our partnerships with the school district and with organizations that work with youth to help them succeed, that’s always a highlight for us.”
United Way has demonstrated dramatic impacts to individuals through the programs they help fund including: Graduation Matters, Healthy Lives Vibrant Futures and Prosperity Matters initiative.
Owen noted that graduation and dropout rates went in the wrong direction this year, but they’re in it for the long haul. He said, “Our challenge is to stick with it and look at those statistics and the reasons behind those numbers and try to adjust our work.”
Celebrating this record of money raised was the perfect start to United Way’s 50th year as an official nonprofit in Cascade County.
In 2019, United Way will celebrate its history and successes, thank decades of donors, and look to building another 50 years of community impact.
Owen added United Way could not do the work they do without their business partners. He said not only in the financial contribution, but in partnering with them by providing volunteers and being active in the community.
This year, 34 local programs will receive United Way funding.
Any local nonprofit can apply for funds this spring. A team of United Way volunteers decude funding by looking both at the community’s needs and the program’s effectiveness.
You can donate to United Way anytime online at www.uwccmt.org or by sending contributions directly to United Way at PO Box 1343, Great Falls, MT 59403.
Reporting by Kasey Herman for MTN News