The 10 organizations stepping up to the plate for this yearâ€™s United Way pacesetter campaign have something to strive for.
During its kickoff breakfast Wednesday at Carolinas Medical Center-Lincoln, the non-profit unveiled its pacesetter cup, a trophy that will be bestowed upon the winning pacesetter.
â€œWe thought it would be fun to add a competitive edge to the competition,â€ said Cathy Davis, chief professional officer of Lincolnâ€™s United Way.
Using a baseball theme, organizations accumulate a maximum of 50 points toward the cup by achieving increases in staff giving and participation.
The organization with the highest point total by Octoberâ€™s general kickoff will win the cup.
Davis believes having a point system instead of a monetary goal will encourage organizations to reach higher.
â€œWhen you set a (monetary) goal, it limits the expectations,â€ she said.
As they campaign, pacesetter Chairman Wayne Vinzant encouraged those present to put a face to the United Way name.
Instead of just asking for money, Vinzant suggested inviting one of the 19 agencies the United Way serves to speak, have employees watch a United Way video, or simply urge staff to sit down and read the donor card.
â€œIf you ask them to sit down and look at that card it doesnâ€™t get shuffled under the papers at their desk,â€ he said. â€œWeâ€™re really not forcing them to give if they donâ€™t want to, weâ€™re just asking them to make a decision.â€
Officials believe this new approach will set a good pace for the general campaign, which is tentatively slated to kick off Oct. 3 at Betty G. Ross Park with a pacesetters versus general kickoff softball. The pacesetter results and cup winner will be announced at the event.
Lincoln County Schools, which runs its campaign earlier during the school year, has already brought in $41,304. Although a little less than last year, Davis said the districtâ€™s final tally is expected after some schools complete their campaign in the fall.
Setting a good pace for the general campaign is important to making this yearâ€™s total campaign goal, said general campaign Chair Jim Mauney.
Although he would not reveal the number until the kickoff, Mauney said the goal would be lofty.
He believes the community can achieve it, however, by working together.
â€œEveryone has been touched in some way by the United Way,â€ he said. â€œWorking together we can do what we want to do.â€
And with a shorter campaign this year, the fundraising is projected to end by mid-December instead of March, running an effective campaign is essential.
â€œWe need to make the United Way a buzz word all year,â€ said Davis.
by Mary Williams