By Jesse Laufer
United Way Greater Victoria (UWGV) recently honoured 15 workplaces and individuals during its Spirit Awards last week.
Patricia Jelinski, CEO of UWGV, said partnerships with local businesses and labour unions have been key to driving fundraising, with $5.5 million raised through workplace campaigns last year.
The keynote award, the Chair’s Award of Distinction, went to University of Victoria President Jamie Cassels. UVic was the second highest donor last year, raising $278,000.
Jelinski said one of the factors that tipped the scales in favour of Cassels was his leadership in uniting the campus to raise money for United Way campaigns.
She noted he participates in every UVic campaign she’s attended since she became CEO two years ago.
But Cassels and UVic are just one piece of United Way.
Last year UWGV saw more than 10,700 donors, 550 volunteers, and 300 workplaces participating. All the money raised stays local, being re-distributed to front line community organizations that support kids and youth, low-income individuals, and help to build strong communities.
“We’re also looking to ensure that we work broadly in philanthropy, and work with individual donors so that we can reach our mission,” said Jelinski.
“We have so many different stakeholders in our work, working together in a united way.”
UWGV started in 1937, raising more than $155 million towards strengthening the Capital Regional District and southern Vancouver Island.