United Way’s $1 million fundraising campaign shortfall has been cut to $500,000 in the past seven weeks, but agency officials say they need to quicken the pace to reach a $21.2 million goal.
The agency has just over a month left in the campaign and has raised $18.6 million, about 88 percent of its goal.
United Way of Central Carolinas Executive Director Jane McIntyre said she remains optimistic, noting the speed at which the gap has been closing.
“The good news is the gap is steadily shrinking,” she said. “We’ve had a handful of great surprises in the last month. Now we need more.”
Those surprises include unexpected donations from PNC Bank ($50,000), UTC Aerospace Systems ($25,000) and QuikTrip Corp. ($87,304). In addition, McIntyre said $20,000 was received from two “walk-in” donors who wished to remain anonymous. Neither had given to Charlotte’s United Way before, McIntyre said.
United Way went public with the campaign gap in mid-November, attributing it to a one-two punch from the Democratic National Convention and Superstorm Sandy’s impact on local companies with large staffs in the Northeast.
Held the first week of September, the convention imposed security measures that disrupted uptown traffic and fenced off entire buildings, including the United Way office.
Fifteen of the agency’s top 100 corporate supporters delayed their employee campaigns by as much as three weeks for the DNC, officials said. Those 15 accounted for $8.9 million raised last year, or 42 percent of the campaign.
In addition, several Charlotte companies with East Coast operations have been forced to extend their employee campaigns due to Sandy recovery efforts.
All the corporate campaigns delayed by the DNC have been concluded, agency officials said, though not all the results are in.
McIntyre noted that 57 of the Top 100 corporate campaigns are coming in ahead of what they raised last year, while the others are either flat or have yet to turn in their results.
The fund drive ends on Feb. 14. McIntyre said the agency will dip into its reserve funds before forcing any of its 87 member charities take budget cuts. However, she hopes to avoid that.