Challenge grants boost United Way campaign
BY MARK GRAHAM
Thursday, October 04, 2012
10/04/12 at 3:35 AM
Is it OK that one in four Tulsa children live in poverty? Is it OK that Oklahoma ranks eighth nationally in food insecurity? Is it OK that Oklahoma is 48th nationally in overall health?
I suspect most of us would answer no to these questions. When it comes to the well-being of families and children, Oklahoma is not OK. But what can any of us really do about it?
The 61 partner agencies of the Tulsa Area United Way are on the front lines of providing services to those in need everyday. Whether it's educating young people, transitioning the homeless into their own apartments or providing dental care for those who can't afford it, they are the best at what they do. They hold themselves to the highest standards, and our rigorous process of accountability demands it.
The needs of our friends and neighbors in Tulsa are enormous, but so is our willingness to help them. At the Tulsa Area United Way, we sit squarely at the juncture of those in need and those who want to do something about it.
And this is the time of year to help. Participating in the Tulsa Area United Way annual fall campaign is an ideal way to have a broad and direct impact on your community.
More than 90 cents of every dollar you give to the Tulsa Area United Way goes directly to fund vital services for those in need. In fact, the Tulsa Area United Way has the third lowest overhead of all 1,200 United Way organizations in the U.S.
This year, many contributors to the Tulsa Area United Way campaign can double the size of their personal giving, thanks to a record number of challenge grants issued by local individuals, businesses and foundations. This is a unique opportunity for you to have your contribution to the United Way matched dollar-for-dollar. Every dollar you invest in the United Way becomes two dollars, allowing us to help more than 630,000 people next year.
Seven major challenge grants have been issued to the Tulsa Area United Way, more than ever before. Those able to increase the size of their gifts through the new challenge grants include small and medium-sized businesses, individuals who give at a leadership level, company and family foundations, and members of the United Way's Women's Leadership Council and Alexis de Tocqueville Society.
For the third year, the Tulsa Area United Way has been offered a Small Business Challenge of $100,000, matching dollar-for-dollar all first-time gifts from area businesses with fewer than 50 employees.
And for the first time, medium-sized companies also can have their gifts matched thanks to a $250,000 challenge grant issued by a collection of anonymous donors. This challenge will match gifts by employees of mid-sized firms with 50 to 250 employees.
New Leadership gifts by individuals, defined as $500 or more over the course of a year, or $21 per pay period, will be matched dollar for dollar as a result of a $300,000 challenge grant issued by several local foundations. In addition, increases in leadership gifts over last year can be matched as well.
New and increased leadership gifts by members of the Tulsa Area United Way Women's Leadership Council also will be matched through a $25,000 challenge grant provided by the Hille Foundation and a $5,000 grant from the Kerr Foundation.
And new or increased gifts from company or family foundations can be matched dollar for dollar thanks to a $50,000 challenge grant from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.
These generous foundations and corporate citizens will allow you to significantly leverage your personal giving and impact.
You can give by completing a pledge card at work or visiting tulsaworld.com/tauw No gift is too small. There's nothing we can't do if we all come together. Let's Live United.
Mark Graham is president and CEO of the Tulsa Area United Way.
Mark Graham: More than 90 cents of every dollar you give to the Tulsa Area United Way goes directly to fund vital services for those in need