The United Way of Greater Kansas City raised more than $35.2 million in its 2015 campaign, officials announced Thursday at a victory celebration party at Union Station.
That was a little higher than last year’s results.
“Kansas City is a remarkable giving community,” said campaign co-chairwoman Roshann Parris of Parris Communications. “We came together this year with over 60,000 people and 1,600 companies and organizations. … Kansas Citians said we’re here, we care, we’re passionate and we give.”
About $2.7 million of the total was raised through the Heartland Combined Federal Campaign in federal government workplaces.
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A key focus of the 2015 campaign was the under 30 age group, to encourage a tradition of philanthropy through professional networking. About 110 millennials gathered a couple of weeks ago for a kickoff event of community service at public schools.
The United Way will attempt to build on that success with a companion initiative to recruit retired business executives.
The United Way of Greater Kansas City supports 312 social service programs offered by 170 agencies. The charitable organization focuses on poverty, literacy, career readiness and well-being.
Citing census data, the United Way says more than 224,000 people in the six-county area live at or below the poverty line, including about 82,000 children. The number has grown since 2008.
The other co-chairwoman of the United Way 2015 campaign was Alise Martiny of the Greater Kansas City Building Trades Council.
The top corporate donors were Hallmark, whose employees pledged $2.1 million, and Black & Veatch, whose employees pledged $2 million. Three other companies raised $1 million or more: Burns & McDonnell, Sprint and Kansas City Power & Light.
The 2015 Employee Campaign Manager of the Year was Macaela Stephenson of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City.
Brent Stewart, president and chief executive officer of the United Way of Greater Kansas City, praised the co-chairwomen and the volunteers who made the 2015 campaign a success.
“We’ll start to gear up the engine tomorrow morning, looking for improvement in next year’s process, next year’s outreach and next year’s messaging to the community,” Stewart said.