The Tulsa Area United Way has surpassed the goal of the 2011 campaign, raising $24,746,883 for 61 partner agencies.
The total represents an increase of $190, 310 above the original goal of $24,556,573.
The announcement was made at “Unite!” – a celebration of the annual campaign’s culmination, held at the new Lorton Performance Center at the University of Tulsa.
“To surpass our goal during a period of economic sluggishness is a testament to the vast generosity of our community,” said Mark Graham, president and of the Tulsa Area United Way (.) “The residents of the Tulsa area demonstrated their giving spirit and steadfast support of the important work conducted by our partner agencies and the needs of their friends and neighbors.”
During the event, more than a dozen key volunteer leaders, representing local companies, small businesses and foundations, reported the total amounts raised by their teams. Several hundred volunteers at companies and organizations across the Tulsa area, in addition to more than 25 loaned executives, led the United Way in completing the successful campaign.
“This year’s campaign was truly a community-wide effort, with more than 1,500 companies and organizations participating, and 50,000 individuals making contributions,” says Jim Bender, senior vice president and general counsel for Williams, who served as chairman of this year’s Campaign Cabinet.
Providing a boost to the campaign were two challenge grants, including the Leadership Challenge Grant of $250,000, issued by the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, in conjunction with an anonymous donor, matching all new and increased gifts by individuals of $500 or more.
QuikTrip issued a Small Business Challenge of $100,000, matching dollar-for-dollar all first-time gifts by small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.
In addition, T.D. Williamson agreed to contribute an additional $50,000 to the campaign if 15 or more members of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society, a group of donors, increased their level of giving to $15,000 or more.
Each of the challenge grants were fulfilled by donors, Graham said.
The campaign officially kicked off at the annual Day of Caring on Sept. 9. However, 17 “Trailblazer” companies conducted early campaigns, announcing their results at the Trailblazer 5K Run and Block Party on Aug. 12.
All 61 United Way partner agencies conducted their own employee campaigns to support this year’s overall effort, including employees, who raised more than $107,000 for their own cause.
The final campaign numbers include verbal commitments from area employers, several of which are still conducting their campaigns.
is accepting contributions through the end of the year. Supporters can call 918-583-7171 or visit www.tauw.org to make a contribution.
The University of Tulsa served as host of the event, opening the doors of its new Lorton Performance Center for the first time to an organization outside the university, and the Tulsa World was a major supporter.
In its 87-year history, has raised and invested more than $593 million in the Tulsa area. has earned a four-star rating in organizational efficiency by Charity Navigator for operating expenses of 9.37 percent, placing it in the top three percent of the most efficient United Ways in the U.S.