United Way of Greater Chattanooga hits goal, nears $12 million

United Way of Greater Chattanooga hits goal, nears $12 million

February 23rd, 2012 by Clint Cooper in News

Tom Glenn talks to a combined Kiwanis and Rotary meeting kicking off the 2011 United Way of Greater Chattanooga community campaign at the Chattanooga Convention Center in this file photo.

Photo by Tim Barber/Times Free Press.

Tom Glenn said the United Way of Greater Chattanooga is poised to break the elusive $12 million mark.

The organization raised $11,932,321 in its 2011 community drive, it was announced at Wednesday's annual meeting and campaign celebration.

It's the 90th consecutive year the organization has surpassed its fundraising goal. It's also the second year in a row the campaign collected more than $11.9 million and the third time in five years.

"We've looked at that $12 million ceiling for some years," said Glenn, the campaign chairman. "In the coming years, I think we'll bust well through it. I'm very encouraged."

The 2011 total easily outpaced the base goal of $11.5 million and the stretch goal of $11.9 million, though it fell short of equaling the record 2010 collection by $18,405.

"The [base] goal is just the floor," Glenn said. "We didn't stop intentionally at that goal."

Outgoing United Way board Chairman Nick Decosimo said the organization is measuring even more results in its focus areas, agencies and programs.

"We're trying to be very strategic in the dollars spent," he said.

United Way Allocations Chairman Ross Schram said more data and its ability to compare "apples to apples to apples" allow for "more precise assessments."

It gives the organization a better way "to decide where the money goes to the greatest impact," he said.

Schram said better data, in turn, gives the United Way itself and its agencies more ammunition in the consideration for additional money by grant programs and foundations.