"I need to rally other leaders and let people know why they should get involved," says Kim Tillotson Fleming, chairman and CEO of Hefren-Tillotson, who was recently named chair of the 2013 annual campaign of the
United Way of Allegheny County
That's because the need here is greater than ever, she notes. "Although our unemployment rate has been better than the national average, the level of need for United Way services continues to grow," based on the number of calls the organization receives and the demand at local food banks.
"In terms of social services, I think that more money goes through United Way than any other agency," she adds. And the annual corporate campaigns reach 60,000 donors.
United Way's goal this year is to raise more than $33 million for school success programs and aid and advocacy for seniors, families in financial difficulties and people with disabilities. And Fleming seems to be up to leading the challenge.
She serves on the boards of Allegheny College, Allegheny Conference on Community Development, The Buhl Foundation, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and the Pittsburgh Foundation, and has been deeply involved in United Way campaigns for years. After her own company's very successful campaign beat the employee participation goal one year, she walked nearly 20 miles between Hefren-Tillotson's Wexford and Pittsburgh offices to celebrate.
As the leader of this year's campaign, Fleming intends to increase membership in the Women's Leadership Council, which has had the strongest growth of any initiative at the local United Way. It has a group goal of raising a million dollars more this year to help women through such issues as loss of a job, divorce or health problems. She also hopes to encourage more people to pledge earlier and to increase their pledges across several years.
"I'm a huge believer in giving back," she says, "and I've found that people get more out of giving. I hope we're able to make it a very successful campaign, beyond our dreams for this year."
Writer: Marty Levine
Source: Kim Tillotson Fleming, United Way of Allegheny County