You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 3 p.m.

United Way of Washtenaw County sets $5.75M fundraising goal to meet increasing need

By Julie Baker

As nonprofits across the county see more need for their services, the United Way of Washtenaw County says this year’s $5.75 million fundraising campaign is increasingly important.


From left: Sandy Hilton, the executive director of Perry Nursery School; Sandy Williams, the Development Director of Perry Nursery School; United Way President Sandra Rupp and United Way campaign chairwoman Ora Pescovitz chat during the Campaign Celebration and Volunteer Recognition Luncheon for United Way of Washtenaw County at the North Campus Research Complex in Ann Arbor on Jan. 27.

Angela J. Cesere |

The UWWC’s fundraising goal this year is $260,000 more than in 2010, although President Sandy Rupp said that’s still near the minimum amount needed to maintain essential services in the county. This year’s campaign kicked off last month.

“It’s not like we’re being bold,” she said, adding that UWWC was on its way to raising $8 million to $10 million per campaign before the economic downturn began. “We need to let the community know that if we don’t support a critical service, it could go away. We don’t want that to happen.”

Rupp said that many of the grants given to the UWWC partner agencies are the lifeblood of the organizations. Partner agencies include food pantries, family service organizations and senior programs.

“Many of the people who used to be our donors now are needing assistance,” she said. “A new person that needs help often has a really hard time asking for it.”

According to UWWC data, 12 percent of the county’s population is living below the poverty line.

The median household income for Washtenaw County dropped an inflation-adjusted 9.1 percent from 2006 to 2010, according to 2010 Census interviews. Cuts to Michigan’s welfare program also are expected to increase need.

Rupp said the UWWC’s fundraising campaign is off to a good start. About a dozen companies that already kicked off their campaigns have set a good pace, and they’re showing strong support so far.

“Rather large companies that are our bread and butter are what we are counting on so far,” Rupp said. “But the truth is, we really need to have everybody give whatever they can.”

For more information on the UWWC, visit


Life in Ypsi

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 4:11 p.m.

I'm considering stopping my donations to the United Way. I'm not very pleased how the county has took control and gave one employee control on where to spend United Way Funds, county funds and foundation funds. Many critical nonprofits lost funding because they didn't meet the county's definition of priorities.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 11:55 a.m.

During the United Way campaign at your workplace, I believe that you can write in ANY non-profit of your choice - Boy Scouts, etc. You can even choose organizations outside of Washtenaw County. The BSGA is a very worthy organization (I am a scout den leader!). I would never stop supporting the United Way, however. Their impact - the 211 call center, the Power of the Purse, MANY non-profit organizations, etc are all worthy of my money and respect. Most foundations (Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, James A. Faith Knight Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, etc.) have funding focuses. Not all non-profits can fit all foundation guidelines. It would be a great day if all funders had enough money to give to all in need! Until then, choose your organizition and give your time and/or money. But, PLEASE - do not condem those who are doing good for so many. (By the way, I am not the "Sandy" of United Way - just a parent and Ann Arbor citizen)


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 11:28 a.m.

How about posting your administration costs along with who gets what etc..

Buster W.

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 2:30 a.m.

As a former Eagle Scout with a Webelo's son, I refuse to donate to United Way. Besides, they are very inefficient and a large % of their funds are lost in "overhead". The United Way flyer distributed at my workplace went straight to the recylce bin!


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:11 a.m.

Another one here.Boy Scouts is the first thing that came to mind.Keep in mind that Levi Strauss was against the Boy Scouts I'll never give either one a penny of my money


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:28 a.m.

glacialerratic.....Thank you very much.I just lost 5 minutes of my life that I'll never get back looking that up


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:18 a.m.

What? Levi-Strauss didn't like the Boy Scouts? I could never have earned my merit badge for cooking without first having read The Raw and the Cooked.

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 10:46 p.m.

Agree with USRepublic and Mr. Ed. When they caved to the hate groups, they lost my support. My charity contributions flow through other channels now.

Mr. Ed

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 8:44 p.m.

I agree when the United Way stopped donations to the Boy Scouts I stop giving to the United Way! I donate my money to the Boy Scouts and others.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 8:35 p.m.

No help for the Boy donation. Pound Sand


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:12 a.m.

votes for all