Corrie Ponikvar, executive director of Moffat County United Way, shows the organization’s fundraising “thermometer” Wednesday in her office. So far, the organization has reached about 15 percent of its $485,000 goal for the 2011 campaign, which continues through Nov. 19.

Photo by Shawn McHugh

Corrie Ponikvar, executive director of Moffat County United Way, shows the organization’s fundraising “thermometer” Wednesday in her office. So far, the organization has reached about 15 percent of its $485,000 goal for the 2011 campaign, which continues through Nov. 19.

Moffat County United Way kicks off annual donation campaign

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How to donate

To donate to United Way, send a check or money order to:

Moffat County United Way, P.O. Box 995, Craig, CO 81626.

For more information, call Corrie Ponikvar at 824-6222 or visit www.unitedwaymoff...

The Moffat County United Way has kicked off its 2011 donation campaign, Executive Director Corrie Ponikvar said Wednesday.

The annual campaign, which runs this year from Sept. 27 to Nov. 19, seeks to raise $485,000 for distribution among 75 to 80 nonprofit agencies within Moffat County.

The Moffat County United Way receives most of its donations through workplaces, Ponikvar said. Typically, employees will contribute a small portion of their earnings from each pay period, and many employers will match those donations dollar for dollar.

“We do probably about 25 workplace-giving campaigns,” Ponikvar said. “We have about 1,300 donors across the county.”

Ponikvar said the organization has raised 15 percent of its goal thus far. The milestone is partly due to the pledges made by The Memorial Hospital — the “pacesetter” for this year’s campaign.

Every year, Ponikvar said, the United Way designates one workplace as a pacesetter.

Pacesetters begin pledging donations in August — more than a month before the official start of the campaign, Ponikvar said.

“We believe the pacesetter jumpstarts the campaign and gives us momentum,” she said. “And, we usually see a jump in their giving.”

Jennifer Riley, chief of organizational excellence at The Memorial Hospital, said the hospital increased its donations by 27 percent as this year’s pacesetter. Hospital employees donated $18,276, and 96 out of 214 employees participated.

“United Way is tremendously valuable in a community such as ours,” Riley said. “In an economic time like now, everybody’s struggling for money, and United Way is a big help for organizations to meet their budget needs.”

The economy can have a negative effect on donation campaigns, Ponikvar said. However, if last year’s campaign is any indication, she said she’s not worried.

“Last year we were really concerned about the economy,” Ponikvar said. “But, we explained … that the nonprofits are going to need our help more than before because when the economy goes down, the need for services goes up and the funding is not as great.”

“We raised more than we had ever raised in the history of our United Way, which was over $520,000.”

Ponikvar said Moffat County deserves the credit.

“Our United Way ranks in the top 10 percent per capita in the nation for giving,” Ponikvar said. “We have an incredibly generous community.”

And, United Way makes a significant impact on the community in return, Ponikvar said.

“We figure one in four residents in Moffat County are touched by United Way,” she said. “From birth to seniors, we cover the entire gamut of services that humans might need.”

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