UW?Community Campaign deserves support

America is a land filled with compassionate people. This is a nation where charitable giving is a standard feature of community life.

There are many good causes and no shortage of generous souls willing to contribute time and/or money to make the world a better place for those less fortunate than themselves.

Most of us work hard for the dollars we set aside for charity. Making sure that the money we give is used properly is a priority.

In our area, the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way is an especially good choice for charitable giving because it guarantees accountable and efficient use of the money it receives. Most of us don’t have the time to investigate and evaluate each program we might support to ascertain how well its goals are thought through and pursued. The Community Foundation does that sorting out for us. That helps ensure that the recipient agencies are worthy of our trust.

This local focal point for charitable activity took on a new look in July 2007. United Way of Greater Fort Dodge and the Community Foundation of Fort Dodge and North Central Iowa merged to form an exciting new organization named United Way and Community Foundation of Northwest Iowa. That entity was subsequently renamed the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way.

The organization is an important philanthropic clearinghouse that connects people who care with causes that matter to improve the local quality of life today and in the future.

Each year, the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way develops a plan that matches the money raised with the needs of the programs with which it partners.

One result of this is to make the year ahead predictable financially for the agencies and programs being supported. This permits long-term planning and, thereby, increases the likelihood that goals will be achieved.

The community benefits from this centralized allocation of funds because priorities are set. Scarce dollars end up being distributed according to a plan designed to achieve the maximum overall impact. This process relies heavily on local volunteers who have an in-depth knowledge of this region.

The 2013 Community Campaign fundraising effort is now under way, chaired by Troy Shaner, who is the Fort Dodge plant manager for Valero Renewables. Over the weeks ahead, the campaign will involve the entire community. The fundraising goal this year is $425,000.

The money raised will have an enormously beneficial impact on local communities. Support will be given to support nine impact areas including youth development, education, mental health and hunger. Helping young people thrive is a key priority.

The Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way helps fund a wide array of organizations and community betterment projects. Its financial support for these enterprises is an important factor in helping them succeed. It’s important to keep that momentum going and strengthen the organization’s ability to do even more.

Virtually all the money raised will be used in the local service area – 99 cents of every dollar contributed. The organization’s overhead and fundraising costs are also low. That means that when you donate to the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way there is real impact in your community.

In many workplaces, there will be an opportunity in the near future to hear details about how this philanthropic powerhouse makes a difference in our area. It’s an impressive story. Thousands of local children, families and seniors have been given a hand up by this Community Foundation and its partners.

Each donation makes a difference.

When asked to make a pledge, respond generously.

After all, you’re investing in what matters to your community – its future.