2016 Campaign tops $3 million goal

Heart of Missouri United Way is excited to announce that its 2016 fundraising campaign has exceeded its $3 million goal. The campaign kicked off Sept. 2, 2016 and concluded January 31, 2017, raising a total of $3,007,109. This is an increase of nearly 3 percent over 2015’s campaign results.

More than 200 local businesses and approximately 8,000 donors contributed to the 2016 campaign, which United Way holds annually to help benefit the 33 local nonprofit agencies currently receiving funding from United Way.

Leading the effort were Campaign Chairs Mike and Sarah Messer, who announced the campaign total at a thank you reception held Thursday evening for donors and volunteers in the LeMone Lounge of Memorial Stadium. Campaign achievement awards were also presented to Boone Hospital Center, Missouri Orthopaedic Institute and Shelter Insurance.

“Sarah and I are so proud to have been a part of this campaign and to have the chance to work alongside such passionate, intelligent and hardworking volunteers and United Way Staff,” said Mike Messer. “The funds raised will directly benefit the 33 local organizations that receive United Way support.”

Campaign highlights include more than $800,000 raised by the Leadership Circle, a United Way affinity group whose members contribute gifts of $1,000 or more. This group’s membership also surpassed 600 individuals, meeting the Veterans United Leadership Circle gift-matching challenge for an additional $150,000 gift. The Alexis de Tocqueville Society, whose members contribute gifts of $10,000 or more, also saw increased membership and contributed more than $200,000 to the campaign.

The campaign also saw the number of companies and partner agencies completing high-performing workplace fundraisers increase from 44 in 2015 to 54 in 2016. These Pacesetters companies collectively raised $1.1 million for the campaign, an 11 percent increase over the previous year. The University of Missouri remained the campaign’s largest contributor, raising more than $500,000.

“We are incredibly grateful for the generosity this community has shown,” said Andrew Grabau, executive director for United Way. “We will now invest that money back into the community to address local poverty by providing funding directly to the programs and services of our partner agencies.”

United Way has planned a series of activities throughout February to publicly thank businesses and donors who contributed to the 2016 campaign.