A lot of lessons were learned from this year’s United Way of Greater Kansas City fundraising campaign.
There was no monetary goal. The more than $35 million raised, however, fell short of the $37.5 million collected in 2013. It was nevertheless a good reason for about 500 Kansas City area residents to celebrate Wednesday night at Union Station.
The donations will help reduce poverty, improve literacy, and boost career readiness and health among area residents. United Way President Brent Stewart said he did not anticipate any cuts in services because of the lower amount raised.
That’s good because the need has not gone away. A generous one-time time gift in 2013 helped boost last year’s total. In addition, the Heartland Combined Federal Campaign that the United Way manages didn’t bring in as much this year. Federal workers were affected by sequestration and the continuing challenges in the local economy. The lingering fog of uncertainty has caused people to ease up on charitable giving.
The lessons that United Way officials take from this year’s campaign is that they and their army of volunteers will have to be more assertive in 2015.
“The community needs that and deserves that,” Stewart said after the celebration. “We’re not going to let up at all.”
Kansas City can’t afford to settle for less.