United Way teams with Colts for fundraising campaign

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United Way of Central Indiana will appeal to Colts fandom this fall as it tries to meet an all-time high fundraising goal of $41 million.

United Way kicked off its annual campaign Friday at Monument Circle with a pep rally-style event. In a first-time strategic partnership with United Way, the Colts are sponsoring giveaways—including a free trip to the 2011 Super Bowl in Dallas—that will be available to anyone who donates, not just people who give through their workplace.

Campaign chairman Don Knebel, a partner at local law firm Barnes & Thornburg LLP, said he wants to reach beyond United Way's traditional donor base of employees at the area's largest companies. "This is a campaign for everybody," he said.

United Way set a goal of adding 2,500 new donors, a 4-percent increase over last year.

Knebel, a longtime United Way volunteer, said he has noticed the changing complexion of the local economy for years. More people are working for small, entrepreneurial companies. Although United Way tries to establish new workplace campaigns, Knebel said it might be easier to recruit those companies if two or three of their employees already have donated on their own.

The big prizes, including the Super Bowl trip and a chance to meet Peyton Manning, will be awarded through a drawing. To be entered in the drawing, donors must give at least $100 more to United Way than last year. For a new donor, $100 would be enough to qualify.

"The $100 gift was well thought out," Knebel said. He feels most working people can afford to give roughly $2 per pay period.

United Way and the Colts also are teaming up to promote giving via text message. Text-based gifts of at least $10 will make donors eligible to win prizes such as Colts jerseys.

Donations from ProLiance Energy and the Eli Lilly Foundation will support advertising the promotions during Colts game broadcasts and in the team's program book.

Last year United Way of Central Indiana raised $38.8 million. Its highest previous goal was $40 million.

United Way raises money to fund affiliated human-service agencies in Boone, Hamilton, Hendricks, Marion and Morgan counties. It also supports special initiatives such as early childhood literacy and winter utility assistance.


  • In Black and White

    I read the tax return. You're wrong. Their salaries and benefits are through the roof. Low six figures is BS. As far as administrative costs, apparently you have a funny definition of administrative costs.
  • Please get your facts straight
    Goober, you are a really goober all right. You are simply wrong in your facts about UWCI. This is a long email to explain things to you so hopefully you can read.

    1. "scores of execs making 6 figures. I don;t know what your definition of "scores" is but UWCI has about 90 employees and no more than 5 people make six figures and most are very low six figures. It will appear higher because tax returns include benefits as well. That is pretty typical for a $50 million company like UWCI. They actually do WORK for their salaries, it is not like they sit around all day just collecting a paycheck. I can assure you they are NOT living the high life, whatever that means.

    2."millions socked in the bank". Wrong again. UWCI has over $50 million in the bank but these are RESTRICTED funds by THE DONOR. UWCI is not allowed to spend it. If you bother to read their audit which is on their website, you can see this. Only the interest can be used to defray admin costs so that the other donors who give will have close to 100% of their contribution going to support agencies and programs.

    3. "Huge admin costs". UWCI has about an 8% admin and overhead costs. That is NOT huge by non profit standards. In fact, it is very low. It was 5% until the economy tanked and the endowment described in #2 lost value and there was less interest. It is simply not true that "a fraction" of what you give goes to the agencies and program.

    4."media busted their exec riding around in limos". Wrong again, it was NOT UWCI executives riding around in limos. It was the United Way of America exec that was misusing funds in the mid 90s. It was wrong. But local UW are independent and that incident had nothing to do with how UWCI is managed and operated.

    Yes, people should look at their tax returns but make sure you know how to actually read and understand the information that is being provided.
    • United Way - No Way
      People should look at United Way's tax returns before they give that organization a dime. UW of Central Indiana has scores of execs gettign six figures, huge administrative costs, and millions socked away in the bank. A few years ago, a media outlet busted their execs for riding around in limos.

      If you want to give money to a charity, give it directly to the charity...not to United Way. If you give to UW, you should know that only a fraction of how much you give will make it to the charity. But if you like paying for United Way execs to have six figure salaries and live the high life, by all means give the money to United Way.
    • United Way the Colts Pacers Organizations
      United Way Wants to Raise $41 Million for the citizens of Indiana?

      Here is an $35 Million Idea Toward That Goal.

      IBJ reported last fall that CIB was wrestling with a steep operating deficit for the Indianapolis Colts' new home, Lucas Oil Stadium, which now is estimated at $20 million annually. This year the the board approved an additional $15 million in annual operating expenses for Conseco Fieldhouse, home to the Indiana Pacers.

      Seems both teams have some of our extra cash they could throw back our way.

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