HOW IT BEGINS
Every September, United Way of Mercer County’s fund-raising activities kick into overdrive. The success of each year’s campaign depends heavily upon efforts that extend far beyond our tiny staff of three and the walls of our modest Hermitage, PA, headquarters.
When an organization offers payroll deductions as a way to contribute, one employee is responsible for coordinating the campaign efforts. Guided by our Employee Campaign Coordinator Guide, these coordinators educate management and employees about how their contributions benefit the local community, no matter how small the designated amount may be. They distribute pledge cards that employees can fill out in less than sixty seconds, making payroll deductions a breeze to implement. To help get employees enthused about helping the less fortunately in their communities, companies can order customized pledge cards too. (Contact us for samples!) During the campaign, employees receive periodic updates on their campaign status. They also get the satisfaction of knowing that they’ve helped those to whom they can often relate – victims of job cuts and facility closures who would be facing even tougher times if not for United Way affiliated programs.
RESIDENTIAL AND PROFESSIONAL CAMPAIGNS
Donation requests are done through direct mailings to Mercer County businesses and private citizens.
Private donors that give the equivalent of $19.24 weekly for a year become members of the United Way’s Honor Society, a distinction earned by $1,000+ annual contributors.
SCHOOL DISTRICT CAMPAIGNS
Superintendents of each Mercer County school district act as Campaign Coordinators for their schools’ fund-raising efforts. Districts encourage the participation of students, faculty, staff, administrators, and board members. Schools vie for the coveted United Way of Mercer County Top Contributor trophy, which will be displayed proudly in the District’s “Awards” showcase until the next campaign. Because of the friendly competition between districts, superintendents closely guard their school’s donation and pledge totals – right up to the campaign’s reporting phase!
School students also conduct their own campaigns through the LUV Club, a tee-shirt signing contest that’s ultimately a fun way for kids to shine as they “give back” to their communities.
In addition to their LUV Club activities, Mercer Area School District students do something very special each year. In 2011, they cut out and decorated paper gingerbread men and sold them for a quarter each, raising a small fortune! They did it again for 2012 with snowmen. For 2013, they created mini Christmas trees to sell.
Pacesetters are a select group of Mercer County organizations whose campaigns begin ahead of the general campaign kickoff. Pacesetters report their progress in percentages this year as compared to last year, and their reports are a barometer to gauge how the overall campaign will progress.
Some campaign efforts are geared toward promoting awareness, such as when Mercer County leaders and business owners help by donning LIVE UNITED™ tees to help get the word out. You’ve likely seen them on pages of The Herald, Mercer County’s Sharon-based newspaper that has also participated enthusiastically in annual United Way campaigns.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ANY OF THESE ACTIVITIES, PLEASE CONTACT THE UNITED WAY OF MERCER COUNTY.