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United Way of King County posts record-breaking campaign

United Way of King County announced its fundraising total of $125.9 million for the campaign year ending June 30, 2014, representing a new fundraising record for the organization under the leadership of Matt Griffin, managing partner at the Pine Street Group. The organization’s previous high-water of $124.6 million was logged in 2007, prior to the recession.

A total of $38.4 million was given directly to United Way of King County to be invested on behalf of donors to solve the community’s toughest challenges. United Way remains focused on its priorities of ending homelessness, meeting people’s basic needs and giving every child an equal chance to succeed, and it has also put an increasing focus on the continuum of young people’s success, from the earliest years to high school graduation and beyond.

“I’m proud to be associated with an organization like United Way of King County because of its core mission,” said Griffin. “United Way brings caring people together to give, volunteer and take action to help people in need and solve our community’s toughest challenges. People can see United Way at work in their neighborhoods across King County.”

Griffin points to work like the Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP), a home visiting program for low income families that helps assure 2-4-year-olds are ready to learn when they enter school.

“With a modest early investment in the lives of these kids, the Parent-Child Home Program levels the playing field, so they are prepared when they enter school and gives them an equal chance to succeed. National studies show that it bumps their high school graduation rate from 50 percent to 80 percent, which has caused local school districts to take notice and start investing in the program despite tight budgets.”

United Way of King County’s record breaking year is credited to strong support from all sectors of the community, and has once again positioned it as the top fundraising United Way in the country. Strong corporate support and employee giving remain the cornerstone of its fundraising efforts and these gifts enable United Way to engage long term strategies and achieve consistent results.

The Boeing Company, a major United Way contributor, continues to underwrite the Loaned Executive Program, which not only brings skilled professionals to help United Way, but every year provides people the opportunity to get out and learn about the community.   Additionally, the Boeing Employee Community Fund contributed $2.9 million to the campaign.

In addition to donating $500,000 to the PCHP, Microsoft joined the Seattle Mariners for a second year as title sponsor of United Way of King County’s All-Star Softball Classic for Homeless Youth, which raised more than $1 million to help struggling kids get connected to housing and job training.

“We are lucky to live in such a generous and smart community, where people understand and respond to the needs of the community,” said Jon Fine, president and CEO of United Way of King County. “People here want to know they are making a wise investment, and they want to know what their donations are accomplishing. Thanks to our efficiency and an endowment started by the Gates Family, more than 97 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to meeting important community needs.”

Fine says that programs like the One Million Meals Campaign, with its wide spread use of volunteers, provides summer meals to kids who rely on free and reduced school lunches, have resonated with companies like Lease Crutcher Lewis and AT&T both of which posted significant increases during this campaign year.

“We wouldn’t have had a record breaking campaign without the extraordinary leadership, vision and effort of campaign chair Matt Griffin,” said Fine. “He made a constant effort to highlight the work of United Way of King County and create opportunities for others to be a part of that work. Including United Way in the sale of Pacific Place is a prime example of how innovative his campaign has been, and people’s lives will be changed for the better as a result.”

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