ANDERSON — A change in strategy helped the United Way of Madison County surpass its fundraising goal for the first time in five years despite the challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s campaign slogan was “United We Rise” and had the goal of raising $600,000. During a virtual awards celebration on Wednesday, it was announced that more than $700,000 was raised.
Another $800,000 through an Indiana United Way and Lilly Endowment grant earmarked for COVID-19 response plus $125,000 in outside grants brought the total to more than $1.6 million coming into Madison County through United Way.
Campaign manager Tyrone Thomas, plant manager at NTN Driveshaft, recommended a more data-driven approach while putting more effort into growing individual gifts instead of workforce campaigns this year.
Many who gave in the past simply couldn’t because of a job loss or pay freeze brought on by the pandemic but Thomas knew that wasn’t the case for everybody.
“Is there a way that we can tap into those people, so I recruited ... Tom and Bobbette Snyder,” said Thomas.
“For the first time, let’s look at individual donors. We typically always focus on a big company. Let’s focus on people that know people.
“They blew that goal out of the water. Actually surpassed what we were even trying to get from the individual leadership.”
The Snyders were recognized with the Game Changers Award and Thomas with the Flying Colors Award during the celebration video that can be viewed on United Way of Madison County’s Facebook page or YouTube channel.
“We just feel that it’s important for our community to give back and we want everybody to be involved with the United Way,” Bobbette Snyder said in the awards video. “We trust the way they distribute funds and care for our community.”
In other awards, the county schools were recognized with the Locked Down Support Award, THRIVE coaches for being United Way’s frontline workers and Harrah’s Hoosier Park reached the Million Dollar Milestone joining Community Hospital Anderson and Ascension St. Vincent.