Local United Way again top for size nationally

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 10, 2000

With a record $1.75 million in its last campaign, the United Way of West Central Mississippi retained its position as the No. 1 United Way in the nation among cities of similar size.

As it began the real work on this year’s campaign, some figures from national headquarters gave the local volunteers encouragement.

The local United Way just announced its intention to raise $1.8 million to help fund 24 member agencies in 2001. That is 2.5 percent more than was raised by the 1999 campaign.

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“I think this is great for the Vicksburg community and the nation and at the same time reassuring that our donors continue to believe in the United Way and share our vision to build a stronger and healthier community,” said Barbara Tolliver, local United Way president.

Ken Hicks, chairman of the United Way board, said, “It shows that the people of Warren County are very caring and generous.”

The United Way of America announced nationwide local United Ways raised an all-time high of $3.77 billion. That was up $190 million, or 5.4 percent more than 1998-99.

The figures from the national office also indicated that many United Ways had double-digit increases in their campaign totals and Vicksburg was among them. Locally, the total was 15.8 percent that put Vicksburg in the league with such communities as Miami, Seattle and Las Vegas.

The local chapter also beat the national averages in the amount raised per capita ($35.64 versus $15.89); amount raised per employed person ($70.10 versus $32.23) and the amount raised per $10,000 in effective buying income ($22.96 versus $9.10).

National figures show that giving by employees of corporations and small businesses is the largest single source of revenues with 49.4 percent of the total campaign. The next largest group is corporate giving at 22.2 percent of the total.

In the 2000 campaign for the United Way of West Central Mississippi, this is borne out since the goal for the Pacesetter Division, which is made up of the corporate and employee contributions from 10 local companies with proven records of giving is $1 million.

Some of the nation’s best contributors are also represented in Vicksburg: United Parcel Service, IBM Corp. and Wal-Mart.