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2009, ISSUE II

Why United Way?

What Makes United Way of Central Ohio Different When it comes to supporting nonprofit organizations donors have plenty of choices. But there is only one organization that is looking across health and human service nonprofits, seeing which ones are the most effective and helping to guide their efforts and create strategically coordinated community-wide change. That organization is United Way of Central Ohio.

But even some long-time supporters aren’t aware of the many benefits that come from having one of the strongest United Ways in the country in our community. Here are some concrete ways United Way does what no other organization can. The hallmarks of our approach are broad vision, focused action, accountability and results.

Broad Vision • Understanding the broad needs of our community - United Way is the one place where a large and diverse group of volunteer experts come together, and build a local plan for progress for our entire community by setting goals and priorities that address both immediate and long-term issues. • Education, Income, Health and Home - United Way takes a holistic approach to addressing community issues by investing in programs that help people achieve the building blocks of a good life -- education, income, health and home. Progress in each of these areas creates and reinforces progress in others, multiplying the impact of each donor gift.

Focused Action • Research - United Way gathers pertinent existing local data and funds research on specific issues where data hasn’t been compiled. This research is used to determine the most pressing needs in our community and guide our collaborative efforts to address them. • Concrete strategies and measurable goals - Volunteer experts have developed a comprehensive set of strategies and measurable 10-year Bold Goals to guide our work. No other organization offers such a comprehensive, yet concrete plan for how our community can progress over the next decade. • The right mix of programs – United Way volunteers use a competitive process to select the right mix of programs provided by both long-time member agencies and new agency partners that will achieve our goals and create lasting change. This comprehensive process ensures that donors’ gifts are being used effectively.

Accountability and Results • Accountability - United Way holds every agency we fund accountable for the effective use of donors’ contributions. This oversight provides peace of mind to donors who do not have the time to research local nonprofits. • Results – United Way holds itself accountable for achieving community-level results such as those outlined in the Bold Goals, and regularly reviews funded programs to ensure they are using proven strategies to produce measurable results and achieve our shared goals. • Trust - United Way’s trusted reputation for thoroughness means that member organizations that receive program funding are viewed favorably by other funders, and can often leverage additional investments in their work.

President’s Update It is a time for beginnings at your United Way of Central Ohio. A time to complete the careful research and preparations we have been making for many months and embark on a new era of our work. As you know, our Board of Trustees approved tenyear Bold Goals this summer. These ambitious goals will guide our work for the next decade, beginning in January, 2010.

Our goals represent a holistic approach to the issues that face us in the interconnected areas of education, income, health and home. And because successes in one area create and reinforce successes in other areas, we can build momentum for our work and ultimately achieve greater impact.

In just a few weeks our board will approve program funding that will also begin in January. After a thoughtful and extensive review process our volunteers and staff have recommended the programs that will most effectively help us achieve our Bold Goals and create broad social change. These programs will form a strong foundation for our future work, but they are only part of what we need to do to achieve the Bold Goals.

By helping United Way gather the support we will need to achieve the Bold Goals, you can be a catalyst for change on a scale that is greater than anything we have accomplished before. You can help by continuing to give. Dramatic change will require a substantial investment. Advocate. Tell your friends, family and professional contacts about the important work of United Way, and of our shared vision for the future. Volunteer. Give your time to help us achieve the Bold Goals.

But we can only do that if we educate and engage our community. That’s where we need your help. My long experience with the United Way movement both as a volunteer and a professional leader has taught me that engaged, energetic, caring people like you want to pay your good fortune forward by creating opportunities for others to succeed.

We must now rally support around our shared goals, and inspire the level of generosity and commitment we will need to realize them. That means we all have to rise to the challenge these goals represent and go beyond anything our movement has done before. In the past we have improved individual lives, and each time we did our community got a little bit better. But as we work to achieve the Bold Goals we have the opportunity to move to a higher, more powerful level of change.

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

Community leaders speak out in support of the bold goals What do prominent community leaders like Mayor Michael Coleman, Franklin County Commissioner Paula Brooks, and National City Bank president and CEO Michael Gonsiorowski have to say about United Way’s Bold Goals?

Find out for yourself by going to Click on “videos” at the bottom of the homepage, then click on the video titled, “United Way of Central Ohio’s Bold Goals.” 2


Achieving the bold goals together United Way of Central Ohio Works to Engage Our Community and Build Support for the Bold Goals to Advance the Common Good When United Way of Central Ohio announced its 10-year Bold Goals in July, the message was clear: it will take our entire community working together to achieve these goals and create broad social change. That message came through in the significant news coverage the announcement received. Local television stations 10TV, NBC4 and ABC6 each covered different areas of focus for the goals – highlighting the holistic approach the goals represent, and the many partners it will take to achieve them. The Columbus Dispatch interviewed several

volunteers who had a hand in developing the Bold Goals, illustrating the diversity of experience and perspectives of the people involved with setting these landmark goals. Since the announcement, United Way volunteers and staff have been reaching out to community members, educating them on the importance of the Bold Goals, and building support. An important milestone in this effort came when United Way of Central Ohio president and CEO Janet E. Jackson addressed The Columbus Metropolitan Club on September 16th. Jackson’s remarks laid out the ambitious nature of the goals and the significant positive change that will take place in central Ohio when they are achieved. “I’m talking about transforming more lives in a more meaningful way than we ever have in the past,” she said. Jackson went on to explain the thoughtful approach that underlies the goals: “We know the challenges that face us are complex and interrelated, and if we only address one or two aspects we cannot create fundamental and lasting change. But, if we take a holistic approach and develop a comprehensive response that effectively deals with the key obstacles that keep people from succeeding, then we can provide the opportunities they need to gain stability and thrive. That is exactly what the Bold Goals do.”

The Columbus Dispatch generously donated a full-page in its Sunday, September 13th edition to help inform our community about the Bold Goals.


She ended with a strong call to action, inviting audience members to get involved and champion the Bold Goals. As a result of the speech, more than half of the 100+ leaders who attended the event turned in a commitment card indicating their intention to be more involved with United Way. Using this successful presentation as a touchstone, United Way staff and volunteers

United Way is communicating the Bold Goals message through the use of effective materials like this z-card that lays out all nine goals. will continue to educate and engage our community on the needs addressed by the Bold Goals. If you belong to a local civic organization and would like to receive a presentation on the Bold Goals, please visit, click on “contact us” and leave your contact information. A United Way staff member will contact you to schedule a presentation.

United Way of Central Ohio president and CEO Janet E. Jackson explains the development of the Bold Goals and their importance to our community to an audience of local leaders at the Columbus Metropolitan Club.


Thousands of Volunteers Make a Difference Volunteer projects support the four areas of United Way’s work: Education, Income, Health and Home Thousands of people once again volunteered to make a difference on United Way of Central Ohio’s Community Care Day, the largest single volunteering effort in central Ohio. On September 15th, over 3,300 volunteers from 172 companies and government agencies participated in almost 200 projects at local schools and United Way member agencies. Each year, Community Care Day saves schools and agencies thousands of dollars in equivalent labor costs. Projects ranged from stocking food pantries and delivering


meals to the homebound to repairing and refurbishing school facilities in the Columbus City, Southwestern City, and Groveport Madison Local school districts. Volunteer projects selected this year highlight the four areas of United Way’s work – education, income, health and home. In July, United Way of Central Ohio announced ambitious 10-year Bold Goals in each of these four areas. Community Care Day projects help build the infrastructure needed to reach these goals.

“Community Care Day is a powerful example of how people can make a difference by volunteering through United Way,” said Janet E. Jackson, president and CEO of United Way of Central Ohio. Community Care Day is sponsored by Bob Evans Farms and the Kroger Company. Their generosity supports the efforts of the thousands of volunteers who are working to advance the common good in central Ohio.


At 18th Annual Community Care Day

“Community Care Day is a powerful example of how people can make a difference by volunteering through United Way.”





Tocqueville Society:

Young Leadership Group

Cinquefoil Fellowship

Key Club

Donors who give $10,000 or more

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

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

African Americans who invest $1,000 or more

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.

Leadership Givers Step-Up and Step-Out at United Way of Central Ohio’s First-Ever Combined Leadership Giving Launch United Way stepped out of the ordinary to kick-off the 2009 campaign for its Leadership Giving groups. For the first time ever all of the groups were invited to attend one big event, and people responded with enthusiasm. More than 200 leaders came out for the “Step Up for Change” event held at the Hilton Columbus at Easton on September 30th. A high-energy performance by a group of young dancers from the Transit Arts Group got the evening off to a fast start, and Janet Jackson kept up the pace with remarks that called on the attendees to step up to the challenge of achieving the Bold Goals. Yaromir Steiner, president and CEO of Steiner and Associates spoke about the charitable work of the Easton Community Foundation, which generously sponsored the event. And 2009 General Campaign Chair Dave Daniel encouraged the audience members to continue and increase their leadership-level support for the work of United Way. Volunteers Shaun Yoder, Tim Miller, Mysheika LeMaile-Williams, and Robert Caldwell, representing each of the four areas of United Way’s work – education, income, health and home – gave concrete examples of how United Way is making a difference in our community. After the program, the energy continued as the dance floor filled with leadership givers celebrating a successful and fun kick-off event.



United Way Launches Women’s Leadership Council On October 7th, a group of 46 women leaders gathered at the Franklin Park Conservatory to launch United Way of Central Ohio’s Women’s Leadership Council. Chaired by Tanny Crane, president and CEO of Crane Group, and a dedicated United Way donor and volunteer for many years, the new group decided it will create an initiative directed toward one of United Way’s Bold Goals in education. As part of the spirited discussion that took place, many women pointed out that education is a lasting investment that impacts all parts of our lives. Others took that one step further and said that financial education for women is key. Some want to develop life skills mentoring programs, others voiced concern for the working women who “slip through the cracks.” The Council will meet again on December 3rd to continue to refine its focus. The volunteer group will create its new initiative, setting and implementing

all of the goals and strategies needed to accomplish this new work. Janet Jackson told the gathering, “You will give this group the energy and direction it needs to be a true catalyst for much-needed change in the lives of so many women in central Ohio.”

If you would like more information on the Women’s Leadership Council, please contact Katie Matney at 614-227-8706 or

The Women’s Leadership Council builds on a strong model used by more than 100 United Ways across the country. Since 2002, these groups, which are made up of more than 40,000 women, have raised more than $440 million. Citing that impressive number, Tanny Crane remarked, “That is a powerful example of what engaged, dedicated women can do.” To become a member of the Council, each woman pledged to contribute $1,000 over and above their current gifts to United Way. Moving forward, a steering committee will begin meeting regularly to craft the initiative and recruit new members.

Volunteer Profile: Tom Grote Since joining the United Way of Central Ohio Board of Trustees in March 2008, Tom Grote has immersed himself in the work of United Way, bringing a unique experience and skill set to his leadership role. Tom has served on many boards including United Way member agencies Godman Guild and Columbus AIDS Task Force, and is a co-founder and former board chair of the Equality Ohio Education Fund. Tom holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Miami University and an executive MBA with honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Upon completing his education at Miami, Tom joined his family business, Donatos Pizza, as Vice President of Operations and Chief Operating Officer. He helped grow the company from 7 restaurants in 1986 to over 200 restaurants by 2002. He currently serves as CFO for start-up biofuel company ButylFuel, and is part owner of Snap Fitness. When asked what he hopes to see United Way accomplish in the future, he immediately responds, “The nine Bold Goals. These are worthy goals that will help many.” He goes on to say, “I am particularly passionate about one of the priority neighborhoods, the near Southside. I grew up in this neighborhood right behind the first Donatos on Thurman Avenue. I currently live a few blocks away in German Village and I would like to see the near Southside become stronger and more vibrant.” “I am also passionate about my work on the board’s Diversity and Inclusion committee,” Tom says. “United Way of Central Ohio leads the nation on issues of diversity --sponsoring programs to train young,


diverse professionals to serve on volunteer nonprofit boards, and requiring all funded programs to comply with United Way’s nondiscrimination policy, which includes sexual orientation and gender identity.” As part of his work in this area, Tom is helping to launch Pride Council, the first Tom Grote (right) with his partner Rick United Way LGBT giving Neal (left) and Janet Jackson. group in the nation. He will also become chair of the Diversity and Inclusion committee beginning January 1, 2010. Tom is a past recipient of the Equality Award from the Columbus chapter of the Human Rights Campaign and the President’s Award from Stonewall Columbus. He also won the national “I Do” contest sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) for a commercial produced with his brother and sister about gay marriage. Tom lives in German Village with his partner Rick Neal and their daughter Amoret.


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LIVING UNITED Leading Edge Welcomes nine New Companies

GENNEXT Celebrates Its First Year of Service

United Way’s Leading Edge initiative is focused on educating more local business leaders about the work of United Way and encouraging them to start an annual campaign. Under the leadership of 2009 Leading Edge chair Randy Sleeper, the initiative has signed on nine new companies to run United Way campaigns this year. The companies are: Budros Ruhlin Roe, Capital Recovery, cleverly+assosciates, Columbus Coca-Cola, FST Logistics, Impact Community Action, Ohio Grocers Association, ologie and Worly Plumbing Supply Inc. Congratulations to these new members of the United Way family and thank you for making a difference!

United Way of Central Ohio’s GenNext group of young community-minded volunteers celebrated their first anniversary on October 9th. In just one year GenNext has grown to over 500 members and participated in 10 community service projects. The group’s latest project collected more than 5,000 pounds of food for the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. In all, GenNext members have volunteered over 1,250 service hours, and saved local nonprofits an estimated $17,000 in equivalent labor and material costs.

9 new campaigns. companies leading

Thank you!


Fall Newslteer for United Way of Central Ohio


Fall Newslteer for United Way of Central Ohio