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United Way Fundraising
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United Way Fundraising


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A sketch of STV\'s creative United Way campaign

A sketch of STV\'s creative United Way campaign

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  • 1. November 2010Putting the FUN Into Fund-raising In this tough economy, it takes an extra blast of creativity to persuade people to give to those in need. But the Baltimore office’s United Way Coordinator, Vonda Kouka, delivered that blast and surpassed her ambitious annual giving goal. Her secret? Keep it fresh and fun. Vonda lined up a month of fun—sometimes zany—activities to generate interest and participation in the office’s annual United Way fundraiser this year. From her perch in the reception area, she is perfectly positioned to gently remind her co-workers to turn in their payroll contribution forms or remind them in person about upcoming events. Never content to reach the same milestone each year, Vonda raised the bar a little higher for the 2010 campaign—to $7,000, just as she has the last seven years she’s led the office’s United Way efforts. While the lion’s share of the funds comes from pledge forms, Vonda organized these activities each Friday throughout October to energize the office and raise awareness of the charity: JERSEYS and JERSEY SHORE: More than a dozen employees paid $3 to wear their favorite sports team apparel or dress as a Jersey Shore character. THE MAGIC OF GIVING: Professional magician, Professor Paul Trattner, donated his time to perform his “Curious and Innocent Diversions Magic Show,” entertaining more than 20 employees over a pizza and salad lunch. Each employee paid $8 for a ticket to the magic show/lunch event. CRAZY HATS AND SOCKS: About 10 employees paid $2 to don their goofiest headwear and footwear for the day while another group paid $1 to vote on the best outfit. WHOSE PET IS THIS? 16 employees brought in pictures of their pets and paid $2 to enter them into the contest in which 17 employees paid $1 to guess who owns each pet. But, it was the final, long-awaited wrap-up activity that took the cake for raising the most funds. Employees eagerly stuffed dollars in jars on Vonda’s desk for the chance to fling a pie in the face of their “favorite” manager. MANAGERS TAKE A PIE IN THE FACE raised more than $200. And, surprisingly, the lowest-key activity, “Nickels for Non-profit,” a collection of jars placed prominently in each department through the month, raised nearly twice as much as the pie-throwing contest. The United Way of Central Maryland funds agencies and initiatives to improve local communities and assist people facing rising costs and uncertain incomes. Dialogue by Marta Mills, marketing editor, Baltimore Employees show off their favorite team jerseys Lynn Beamon delivers a pie to John Mack’s face John Mack, covered in pie