Georgetown County United Way chapter kicks off season

At the end of this week the Georgetown County United Way will kick off its fundraising season with a "Back to Football Friday" event.

Lynne Ford, the resource development director, said businesses are being asked to "adopt" a football team and dress in the team's colors for the Friday event.

Robert Geathers, a former NFL player for the Buffalo Bills, will be speaking at the campaign rally, she said.

The football-themed event is a nod to the national United Way's partnership with the NFL, Ford said.

The local United Way's Friday rally is aimed at area business representatives board members, school and county officials and volunteers. They hope to get "the business community engaged as we kick off the campaign season," she said.

Ford agreed to answer some questions about the Georgetown United Way's 2010 fundraising campaign.

Question | What's the fundraising goal for this year?

Answer | $450,000

Q. | How does that compare to last year's goal?

A. | We kept our goal the same. Last year we made 90 percent (of that goal). So we do believe the goal is attainable.

Q. | How long is the fundraising season?

A. | September through the end of November

Q. | Why is that the time frame?

A. | We like to have everything before the end of the year. We have some campaigns that have to be run in the spring, but very few. We used that time to plan. If we have pretty much everything in before the holidays, we know where we are for the next year.

Q. | Does the economy factor into your fundraising efforts?

A. | We take that into account. We have 28 partner agencies. They rely on the support of the community through United Way to help them meet their mission. In an economy like this when times are tough and the needs really increase, that intensifies the need for us to meet our goal.

Q. | Has the organization changed its fundraising tactics?

A. | No, we've always had a big focus on business and industry. We are looking for support from small businesses through the Project 1,000 campaign. Over the next three to five years we're looking for 1,000 new small businesses to contribute $500 or more in support of the United Way.