United Way of Central Ohio’s first Rally for Recovery brought together hundreds of corporate associates, individual donors, community leaders and volunteers to rally in support of our local nonprofits and the people they serve. Despite working in a mostly virtual environment, corporations and individual donors raised their hands and gave from their hearts to provide relief and hope to those who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
Throughout the week, participants joined virtual conversations with 32 speakers representing 23 organizations across our community on a variety of topics. Many of these powerful panel discussions can still be viewed on our YouTube channel. Our poverty simulations, both guided and self-guided, had hundreds of highly engaged participants.
The vast majority of the 29 participating companies will continue their workplace campaigns beyond Rally for Recovery, resulting in additional funding — with some expected to exceed their 2019 goals. It’s projected that the campaign will generate a total of $9.73 million, which is trending with 2019 fundraising totals. That’s very encouraging, given the economic challenges our community is facing.
During Rally for Recovery, we raised $2.1 million, with many companies surpassing previous participation rates and gift levels. Hexion, for example, had its highest participation rate since 2015, and its highest average gift level in recent years.
In central Ohio, $2.1 million is enough money to provide:
- 249,845 hot meals to hungry people in our community
- 1,614 at-risk teens a mentor for one year
- 100 children with after-school learning activities
- Assistance for 807 families facing eviction due to loss of job
Some additional highlights from corporate giving campaigns include:
- Grange Insurance and Advanced Drainage Systems Foundation matched telethon donations up to $100,000. Despite breaking news during the telethon, volunteers collected $205,000.
- School Employee Retirement Systems (SERS) held its first-ever all-staff campaign meeting (virtually) and has seen significantly increased giving.
- AEP produced videos with testimonials from leaders and associates of all levels about how they give back to the community and volunteer. They also hosted a panel discussion exclusively for leadership givers.
- Huntington encouraged associates to engage in our virtual poverty simulations, and leadership discussed their experiences.
- Hexion incentivized employees to participate in Rally for Recovery events with raffle prizes, including a work-from-home-space makeover.
- Many companies focused on virtual volunteer efforts. Nationwide associates rallied to do virtual read-alouds with children in our early childhood education programs.
In-person and virtual volunteering totaled more than 165 hours of volunteerism from Rally participants to help our nonprofit partners as they adapt to meet increasing needs in our community. We also provided 21 nonprofits with micro-grants to help them fund these important projects. Meaningful, year-round volunteer opportunities are always available at www.volunteerunitedcbus.org.
Rally for Recovery accounts for just a portion of the overall United Way of Central Ohio fundraising campaign. There are more than 400 additional campaigns that will take place in the coming months. We are grateful for the support we received for Rally for Recovery, and encourage the public, private and nonprofit sectors to continue to respond to community needs related to the pandemic. We look forward to continuing to convene people from across the community to engage in conversation and take action to move
central Ohio forward.