The Tulsa Area United Way unveiled a major milestone in its 90-year history on Thursday, announcing a record campaign of $26,602,884.
The total amount raised exceeded this year’s goal of $26,200,000 – the largest goal in its history – by $402,884. This year’s campaign also surpassed last year’s total amount raised of $26,159,826.
The record-breaking campaign was announced before more than 300 guests at the annual “Unite!” celebration, held at the Schusterman Learning Center at OU-Tulsa.
“This underscores the profound generosity and depth of commitment Tulsans have for the well-being of their community,” said Mark R. Graham, president and CEO of the Tulsa Area United Way.
The success of the campaign was attributed to a variety of factors, including highly effective volunteer leadership, a strong economy and positive giving climate, Graham said.
“This was truly an all-encompassing, community-wide effort – support was provided by individuals, foundations and corporations, large and small,” said Dr. Gerry Clancy, chair of the 2014 campaign and president of OU-Tulsa.
This year, it is estimated more than 45,000 people supported the local United Way campaign.
The campaign was energized by eight major challenge grants offered by local individuals, foundations, and corporations. The challenge grants 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, insurance brokers, company and family foundations, the top 100 company contributors to the United Way, and members of the United Way’s Emerging Leaders Society, Women’s Leadership Council and Alexis de Tocqueville Society.
“Our 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 Derk Tenzythoff, senior vice president of resource development, who has led campaigns at the Tulsa Area United Way for 12 years and will retire this year.
Non-profit organizations, including the Tulsa Area United Way’s 61 partner agencies, raised a record $915,053, and the Tulsa Area United Way posted a record $160,000 for its own employee campaign, helping the local United Way to lead its peers nationally in giving by non-profit organizations.
Funding for the Tulsa Area United Way’s partner agencies as a result of this year’s campaign will begin in January.
Local labor unions sponsored the “Unite!” event including International Union of Operating Engineers Local 627, Transport Workers Union of America Local 514, Communications Workers of America Local 6012, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1002 Northeastern Oklahoma Central Labor Council, Oklahoma State Building and Construction Trades Council, Pipeliners Local Union 798, Tulsa Firefighters Local 176, United Aerospace Workers Union of America Local 952, and the United Association of Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 430.
Top company and organizational supporters will be recognized at the Tulsa Area United Way’s annual Live United Awards and Luncheon on Feb. 17 at the Cox Business Center.