The Benefits of a Better Community

A Q&A about community investment with David Nicole, president and CEO of United Way of Allen County, and Wendell Bontrager, regional president of Old National Bank.
2/1/2016
Tracie Ortman
Provided
The Benefits of a Better Community

Businesses no longer solely focus on selling a product or a service; they are involved in their communities and agencies that make a difference. United Way of Allen County understands the passion employees of these businesses have for improving the communities in which they live and work. That is why it started a Benefactor program in 2015. We are checking in to see what successes the program has seen.

What is United Way of Allen County’s Benefactor program?

Nicole: The Benefactor program is a better way to do business. It allows us to provide operational excellence to our donors and Allen County residents by continuing to host fundraising and outreach events that benefit our community, while also being good stewards of the investments entrusted to our organization. Benefactors make a commitment beyond their regular Community Campaign contributions to cover some of the operating costs associated with doing good work in the area. The goal of the Benefactor program is to make sure that United Way can continue essential events like Day of Caring or our Power of the Purse fundraiser, without using donor dollars to cover the costs.

What commitments are Benefactors making?

Nicole: Benefactor commitments range from $2,500 to $20,000 a year. Although the commitments vary widely in size, they are all essential to operating our organization.

Who are your current Benefactors?

Nicole: We have a solid group of nine Benefactors this year. At the $10,000 Gold level we have BF Goodrich, Lutheran Health Network, Old National Bank and WANE TV, which provides us in-kind media support. At the $5,000 Silver level we have Trelleborg Sealing Solutions and at the $2,500 Bronze level we have Dulin, Ward & DeWald Inc., First Federal Bank of the Midwest, Indiana Michigan Power Company and NIPSCO. 

What does an organization get from being a Benefactor?

Nicole: It gets some recognition for its support in the form of social media, public recognition and names on Day of Caring shirts, but that really isn’t why they become Benefactors. These are organizations that we work with throughout the year. They are completely invested in changing our community and the lives of the people around them. Our first Benefactor to sign on this year was Old National Bank. It has been a sponsor for Power of the Purse in the past and we have board and committee members that work there. It also had a Day of Caring team at a project for Community Transportation Network, a United Way funded partner. Wendell Bontrager, the regional president, is a strong supporter of United Way.

Most of our Benefactors are involved with us in other ways. NIPSCO has always been a strong supporter of Day of Caring and routinely has a team. That team almost always completes a project at Study Elementary. 

Why would an organization, like Old National Bank, become a Benefactor?

Bontrager: We pride ourselves on not only doing business in Allen County, but also contributing to making it a better place for our customers, neighbors and friends. We support several nonprofits in our community, one of which is United Way. By becoming a United Way of Allen County Benefactor, we know we are impacting our entire community by supporting United Way’s mission to unite our community’s time, talent and treasure to cultivate and advance community solutions that address the most critical issues around basic needs, education, financial stability and healthy lives.

United Way of Allen County

Address: 334 E. Berry Street Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802

Phone: (260) 422-4776

Website: unitedwayallencounty.org

Years in Business: 93

Number of Employees: 25

Products & Services: United Way of Allen County unites our community’s time, talent and treasure to cultivate and advance community solutions that address the most critical issues around basic needs, education, financial stability and healthy lives.

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