The Tulsa Area United Way unveiled the results of its annual campaign on Thursday, raising $26,524,575 for the community.
The total was beyond its original goal of $26,524,500, the largest in its 91-year history.
The results were announced before more than 300 guests at the annual “Unite!” celebration, held at the Helmerich Center for American Research at Gilcrease Museum.
“Tulsans refused to allow a challenging economy stand in the way of ensuring their friends and neighbors receive the services they need,” said Mark R. Graham, president and CEO of the Tulsa Area United Way. “We once again demonstrated why Tulsa is known as one of the nation’s most giving communities.”
Non-profit organizations, including the Tulsa Area United Way’s 60 partner agencies, surpassed the $1 million threshold for the first time, helping the local United Way to lead its peers nationally in giving by non-profit organizations.
“This campaign was truly an example of all of us coming together for the greater good,” said Ted Haynes, 2015 campaign chair and president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma. “More than 44,000 individuals supported the campaign, in addition to generous companies, foundations and small businesses.”
The campaign was energized by major challenge grants which provided dollar-for-dollar matching opportunities for many contributors, including small and medium-sized businesses, individuals who give at a leadership level of $500 or more annually, and members of the United Way’s Emerging Leaders Society and Women’s Leadership Council. The challenge grants were issued by several local individuals, foundations, and corporations.
“Our annual United Way campaign is a volunteer-driven endeavor, led by the 50 members of our Campaign Cabinet, 25 loaned executives and hundreds of other volunteers,” said Laura Hailey, senior vice president of resource development.
Funding for the Tulsa Area United Way’s partner agencies as a result of this year’s campaign will begin in January.
Top company and organizational supporters will be recognized at the Tulsa Area United Way’s annual Live United Awards and Luncheon on Feb. 16 at the Cox Business Center.