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2008, ISSUE II




LIVE UNITED, the most far-reaching call to action in the United Way movement’s history, invites people to give, advocate, and volunteer. This year thousands of people responded in force on United Way of Central Ohio’s Community Care Day, the largest single volunteering effort in our area. Nearly 4,000 volunteers from 85 companies signed on for more than 200 projects at local schools, United Way member agencies, and other local nonprofit organizations. Community Care Day saves schools and agencies thousands of dollars in equivalent labor costs each year.

said Janet E. Jackson, president and CEO of United Way of Central Ohio. “Our LIVE UNITED call to action places great emphasis on volunteering, and we are increasing our efforts to engage volunteers through United Way.”

“Volunteering is a very effective way to unite and improve our community. Volunteers get a first hand look at the many needs that exist and take a hands-on approach in addressing them,”

Community Care Day would not be possible without the generous sponsorship of the Kroger Company and Bob Evans Farms.

Since Community Care Day occurred just two days after a devastating windstorm struck central Ohio, many volunteers were able to help clean up storm damage and provide necessities to those affected by power outages.

PRESIDENT’S UPDATE At a time when so many people in our community are facing unprecedented economic challenges, the need for the innovative programs and initiatives supported by your investment is greater than ever. People who have never sought help before find themselves reaching out for assistance, and United Way of Central Ohio and its many community partners are there for them. When the recent windstorm hit central Ohio and left thousands without electricity, United Way agencies went into action to connect people to the services they needed to get through the crisis. This year’s Community Care Day, the largest single volunteering event in our area, occurred just two days after the windstorm. Despite the fact that many of the over 4,000 volunteers who signed up did not have power at their own homes, they showed their dedication to LIVE UNITED by placing helping others above their own needs. Many of the over 200 scheduled worksites at local nonprofits and schools received storm clean-up help from the volunteers. Teams of volunteers prepared and delivered more than 3,000 5-day emergency food kits to homebound people who had lost electricity. I visited many of the sites and was once again reminded not only of the tremendous generosity of our volunteers, but of the immense power for good we can harness in our caring community. One week after Community Care Day, I sat among another group of volunteers who are strengthening our community. At its September meeting, our volunteer Board of Trustees approved the strategies, performance measures and preliminary goals that will guide our work of advancing the common good in central Ohio. This approval is another important step in the strategic planning process we

have undertaken to concentrate our resources and effectively create lasting change. The measures the board approved are a result of the collective work and wisdom of dozens of volunteers, who spent many hours discussing and developing the strategies we will need as we move forward. We are entering a new era in the work of United Way of Central Ohio. One that will be marked by setting bold goals and bringing our many partners – experts from fields like business, education, and government – together to achieve them. We recognize that to make significant, measurable, community-wide progress we must target areas where we can do the most good, and set ambitious but attainable goals to address them. With this in mind, we will establish concrete 10-year goals for each of our nine community results, and hold ourselves accountable for making them a reality by 2018. We understand what gets measured gets done, and together with our many partners, we will get things done. United Way is in a unique position to lead these efforts. No other organization has the reach, resources, and relationships needed to bring our community together and create the system-wide change we need to move forward. We must take bold action and we will. Together, we will advance the common good and create opportunities for a better life for all.

Janet E. Jackson President and CEO United Way of Central Ohio

To receive LIVING UNITED via email go to: 2


CAMPAIGN GOAL SET BASED ON RISING NEEDS $56.1 MILLION GOAL IS “CHALLENGING BUT NECESSARY� 2008 Campaign Chair Greg Overmyer presented a compelling “This will be one of the most message to his fellow Board of Trustees members when he led the discussion of this year’s campaign goal: “While I know many challenging campaigns we have of our donors are facing tough economic times, the needs of our community are rising and we must set a goal based on that need.� ever led, and it will take extra The board agreed and set a campaign goal of $56.1 million – an effort on everyone’s part to help increase of $100,000 over last year’s record goal. us reach our goal.� “This will be one of the most challenging campaigns we have ever led, and it will take extra effort on everyone’s part to help us reach our goal,� said Overmyer. “We cannot rely solely on existing relationships. We have to increase our efforts to reach out to new donors, and we will.� Overmyer outlined the progress that must be made to reach our goal: s -ORENEWDONORSMUSTBEENGAGED s -OREWORKMUSTBEDONETOBUILDANDSTRENGTHENYEAR ROUND relationships with partners. s .EWMETHODSLIKE,)6%5.)4%$PARTIESMUSTBELAUNCHEDTO educate potential donors on the work of United Way. s %FFORTSTOINVITEMOREPEOPLETOJOIN,EADERSHIP'IVING groups must be increased. s -ORECORPORATECAMPAIGNSMUSTBEESTABLISHEDUTILIZING tools like United Way’s innovative online Campaign Toolbox.

“Through the LIVE UNITED call to action we must engage people who may not have thought about giving to United Way in the past,� said Overmyer. “We will need all of those new relationships to reach our campaign goal this year.� “We know the needs are great right now,� said Board chair Ann Pizzuti. “There are people turning to United Way for help who never had to in the past, and that is exactly why we must work diligently to reach this year’s challenging but necessary campaign goal.� To make a contribution to United Way of Central Ohio go to If you would like to help United Way reach out to potential donors by hosting a LIVE UNITED party or helping arrange a new workplace campaign, please contact Mike Davis, vice president of Resource Development, at or 614.227.2713.

UNITED WAY MOVES FORWARD WITH STRATEGIC PLAN BOARD APPROVES STRATEGIES, PERFORMANCE MEASURES AND GOALS United Way of Central Ohio took the next step in its long-term strategic plan in September when the Board of Trustees approved strategies, performance measures and preliminary goals for each of the nine community priorities that are the focus of United Way’s work. Teams of volunteers spent several months reviewing and refining strategies, and developing the concrete performance measures United Way will use to measure the progress of funded programs. Once implemented, the measures will give the clearest and most comprehensive picture of community-wide advances United Way has ever compiled. “We have harnessed the knowledge and judgment of a diverse group of volunteer experts to determine the most effective ways to achieve our community priorities and measure our progress,� said


Rick Carrick, senior vice president of Community Impact. “This process has been an excellent example of how United Way brings people together to make the key strategic decisions we need to advance our work.� United Way also reached a significant milestone in the process of seeking new ideas and partners when it opened the letter of intent application process in mid-October. Central Ohio health and human service nonprofits are invited to submit letters outlining potential programs that help achieve one or more of United Way’s nine community priorities. The letters will be reviewed by United Way staff and volunteers and the strongest candidate programs will then be asked to submit detailed proposals in early 2009.




United Way of Central Ohio’s Leadership Giving groups offer the opportunity for donors to learn more about how their contributions are helping improve lives in central Ohio, develop meaningful service projects and network with fellow donors.

Tocqueville Society:

Young Leadership Group

Cinquefoil Fellowship

Key Club

Donors who give $10,000 or more

Donors who give $5,000 - $9,999

African Americans who invest $1,000 or more



Key Club kicked off its 2008 campaign with a gathering on October 22nd at the Franklin Park Conservatory Garden Pavilion. Co-chairs Dr. Gene T. Harris, Stan Harris and Larry Seward hosted the event which was presented by Huntington Bank. Janet Jackson spoke to the group on the theme of dreaming big dreams and working together to realize them. She called on those gathered to LIVE UNITED by giving, advocating and volunteering, and emphasized the need to give generously to this year’s campaign. Donations of canned and boxed goods, grocery store gift cards and cash were collected for the South Side Settlement House Neighborhood Support Program.

New Tocqueville Society members Sandy and Clark Swanson of Orange Boy Inc., hosted United Way’s first-ever LIVE UNITED party on October 16th at their home. The informal event kicked off the Swansons’ efforts to raise $100,000 to support United Way’s investment in the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Ready to Read/ Adventures in Literacy program. Janet Jackson spoke to the assembled guests about the work of United Way.

YLG YLG will host an Educational Roundtable with Candice Barnhardt, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Nationwide, on Tuesday, November 18th, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Nationwide. The roundtable discussion will explore diversity and inclusion, change leadership, associate engagement, and other strategies that support a healthy, high-performance workplace culture. YLG will also host a behind-the-scenes look at BalletMet as the company prepares for this year’s Nutcracker performances. This family event will take place on Tuesday, December 2nd at BalletMet (322 Mt. Vernon Ave.).

CINQUEFOIL FELLOWSHIP Teri Berliner of AEP and Bill Calvert of The Calvert Group are the 2008-2009 Cinquefoil Fellowship campaign co-chairs. Teri and Bill invite Cinquefoil Fellowship members to take a brief online member survey at Information from the survey will help United Way to better shape the Cinquefoil Fellowship to meet the needs and expectations of its members.


Donors 45 years or younger who invest $2,500 or more

On October 28th, The Tocqueville Arts and Culture Series hosted Donald Ray Pollack, author of the book Knockemstiff, which chronicles the lives of residents of Knockemstiff, Ohio. The event provided an exclusive opportunity for Tocqueville members and their book clubs to discuss the book with the author. The next book club discussion will be held on January 14, 2009, and will feature Sue Miller discussing her book, The Senator’s Wife.

Contacts: Key Club and Cinquefoil Fellowship Tasha Booker 614.227.3082


Vanessa VanAtta 614.227.8715

Tocqueville Society

Katie Matney 614.227.8706

AVP-Leadership Giving

Neal Brower 614.227.2764 LIVING UNITED

: THE NEXT GREAT THING FROM UNITED WAY On October 2nd, United Way of Central Ohio launched GenNext, a group aimed at connecting young professionals in central Ohio with volunteer service and educational and networking opportunities.

GenNext Co-chairs

Beginning in the spring, United Way conducted research and held focus groups that indicated there are many young people in the Columbus area who are eager to give back to our community, but don’t have a strong volunteer connection to any local organization. GenNext was formed to link these people with the many volunteer opportunities available through United Way. “The idea behind GenNext is that the volunteers will take charge, decide which projects they want to pursue, and get them done,” said Vanessa Van Atta, the United Way relationship manager who led the formation of the group. “People in their 20s and early 30s have been fulfilling service requirements for school for most of their lives, but once they enter the working world they can become disconnected from that volunteer infrastructure. GenNext gives them a way to volunteer with a group of service-minded people like themselves, and make friends and connections, while helping our community.”

Todd Roppa, National City Bank

Nicole Sultzbach, Mettler-Toledo

Over the summer, a steering committee was formed to set the future direction of GenNext and organize service projects and educational meetings. Outreach efforts, including advertising and the distribution of informational “hot cards” at local events, helped draw more than 80 interested people to the October 2nd launch party. Under the guidance of the steering committee, GenNext is off to a fast start in bringing the work of United Way to the next generation of central Ohio leaders. To learn more go to, or call Vanessa Van Atta at 614.227.8715.

GenNext Steering Committee members Courtney Kidd Alive David Gollinger Deloitte Debra Whittingham UPS Elizabeth Poindexter Glimcher Realty Trust Justin Harvey Mercer Lisa Gorman Community Volunteer Marvella Steen Nationwide


Matt DeVenne Marketing Consultant Matt Goldstein Abercrombie & Fitch Michelle Leitzy United Way of Central Ohio Nicole Sultzbach Mettler-Toledo Stephanie Campolo United Way of Central Ohio Todd Roppa National City Bank Vanessa Van Atta United Way of Central Ohio

Members of United Way’s new GenNext group gathered for their first service project in Franklinton. The group invested a total of over 165 hours of service on projects like graffitti removal, improving abandoned properties, and planting spring bulbs.

GenNext members also cleaned and organized the facilities at the Columbus Early Learning Center. The Center provides high-quality early education for young children in the Franklinton area.


VOLUNTEER PROFILE: ROBERT AND MARY LAZARUS It takes a few minutes just to read the list of volunteer positions Robert and Mary Lazarus have held over the past five decades. They have served in a broad range of areas like the arts, education, diversity, and health and human services. And they have been steadfast supporters of United Way of Central Ohio, both through their generous donations and through the many volunteer hours they have spent at United Way and its member agencies. Bob Lazarus served as president of the Board of Trustees for United Way in 1982, and also led the board of member agency Columbus Urban League. Mary’s many efforts to help children include a term as president of the board of member agency Action for Children. But the couple’s strongest connection to United Way may be Bob’s work on the Rebuilding Lives initiative, which provides affordable housing and supportive services that help chronically homeless adults become self-sufficient and productive. Bob served on United Way’s Housing Vision Council and on the task force that developed Rebuilding Lives. He was also a member of the board of Community Shelter Board, which partnered with United Way on the initiative, for more than twenty years. Bob Lazarus describes his work on housing the homeless as the “love of my life.” Those who have worked with both Bob and Mary speak not only of their selfless and steady leadership, but of the fact that they

Robert Lazarus describes his work on housing the homeless as the “love of my life.” always put the best interests of our community first in any solution they help to craft. United Way stands for advancing the common good, and there are no better examples of that principle than Bob and Mary Lazarus.

CORPORATE PARTNER NEWS: KROGER ORGANIZES COMMUNITY CARE DAY PART 2 Though the windstorm that hit Ohio in September meant that Kroger employees were needed on the job during Community Care Day, they didn’t let that stop them from organizing their own day of volunteering to help our community. On October 7th, a team of over 55 Kroger volunteers spent the day at the Mid-Ohio Food Bank and LifeCare Alliance. At Mid-Ohio volunteers prepared food shipments for the many food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, after-school programs and senior housing sites in central and eastern Ohio that the food bank serves. In addition to all of the volunteer hours donated to Mid-Ohio, Kroger also presented a check for $75,000. This generous donation will help Mid-Ohio address the 14% rise in requests for food it has received in 2008. At LifeCare Alliance, volunteers prepared and delivered meals to the homebound. Kroger is a long-time sponsor of Community Care Day, along with Bob Evans Farms.





United Way of Central Ohio’s Board of Trustees has approved a new public policy agenda. The agenda reflects United Way’s emphasis on advocacy and outlines the organization’s public policy strategy for the next two years.

The Franklin County earn it. EITC Coalition, which is keep it. supported by the City save it. of Columbus, Franklin County and United Way of Franklin County EITC Coalition Central Ohio, is looking for volunteers to help hardworking low-and moderate- income families prepare their taxes and receive the refunds they need and deserve. Experience in preparing taxes is a plus, but the Coalition will provide the necessary training for those without experience.

“Public policy has a huge impact on the lives of people in central Ohio and we are committed to making our voice heard on important public policy issues. We’re speaking out and we want our supporters to join us” said Janet Jackson. United Way’s public policy agenda specifically targets revitalizing vacant and abandoned housing and property, improving the financial stability of low- and moderate-income households, and preparing more children for school. “These issues are all interconnected – safer neighborhoods, financially stable families, and children who are ready to succeed in school are the foundation of a secure and successful community,” said David Paragas, chair of United Way of Central Ohio’s public policy committee. For more information on United Way’s public policy agenda go to


Schedules are flexible. Tax sites are typically open in the evenings and on the weekends for four hours at a time. Each volunteer is asked to work at least two 4-6 hour sessions between January and early April 2009. For more information about the Coalition or to sign-up as a volunteer, go to or e-mail

NEWSPAPER SPREADS MAKE A BIG SPLASH One of the most effective ways to communicate about the work of United Way is through donated advertising space in influential newspapers. United Way of Central Ohio has been fortunate to have received many pages of donated space from The Columbus Dispatch over the years. This year The Dispatch ran a full-page of United Way coverage on September 14th, which included an open letter from Janet Jackson and Board President Ann Pizzuti outlining United Way’s accomplishments and future vision. It was the boldest message we have ever communicated in The Dispatch, and an important way to inspire people to LIVE UNITED. This year United Way also tried something new. The September 19th issue of Business First ran a cover featuring the LIVE UNITED call to action. This cover was a four-page advertisement which wrapped around the issue. It was sponsored by Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP, OrangeBoy Inc., Pizzuti, Nationwide, OhioHealth and HRH Insurance, and featured the personal stories of employees of those companies who give, advocate, and volunteer in our community.


LIVE UNITED lives large in Business First (left) and The Columbus Dispatch (right).


360 South Third Street Columbus, Ohio 43215-5485



Community Care Day Board Approves Strategies

United Way of Central Ohio’s 17th Annual Community Care Day mobilized thousands of volunteers to help our community.

The Board of Trustees approved strategies for each of the nine community priorities that are the focus of United Way’s work.

Campaign Goal Set

In a challenging year, United Way sets a campaign goal based on the growing needs of community members.

GenNext Launches

GenNext, a new group aimed at connecting young professionals in central Ohio with volunteer service, educational and networking opportunities is off and running.


LIVING UNITED - United Way of Central Ohio's Quarterly Newsletter