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United Way of Dane County raises $17.8M in 2020 campaign, reaching its goal despite COVID-19 pandemic

United Way of Dane County raises $17.8M in 2020 campaign, reaching its goal despite COVID-19 pandemic

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Despite the financial challenges caused by a once-in-a-century pandemic, 2020 was a fundraising success for the United Way of Dane County.

The organization announced Thursday it has raised $17.8 million in donations and reached its goal as part of the Community Fundraising Campaign.

The annual campaign, which relies on corporate and individual donors, was preceded by emergency fundraising efforts last year as the COVID-19 pandemic set in and people were being laid off or furloughed in the thousands.

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The organization raised a separate $2.3 million in donations last year to provide immediate assistance to those in need, according to the United Way, and help with food, rent, utilities and health support remain the top needs.

“These dollars will go directly toward supporting services and strategies that help local families, individuals and nonprofits overcome barriers to well-being and address systemic challenges at their root, decreasing racial disparities and increasing economic stability,” Renee Moe, president and CEO of the United Way of Dane County, said in a statement.

While previous years have seen higher campaign totals, the 2020 outcome is being celebrated as a success in the face of unprecedented barriers.

“The fact that we hit our goal — even during a global pandemic that has had a huge toll on our local economy — is fantastic,” said Ashley Reynolds, spokesperson for the United Way. “We couldn’t have done it without the generosity of the Dane County community.”

United Way partners with 700 nonprofits, and the organization said it tracks results and reports back on the donations “so every donor can see the impact their dollars make in Dane County.”

The funds raised last year will be allocated based on investment decisions the United Way made in its 2020-21 cycle. But a new application window runs April 1 to May 15 for organizations that are seeking funding in 2022 and 2023 from the next two campaigns.

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