United Way’s annual campaign is underway, with a goal of $8 million

The 2016 United Way of Greater Portland campaign began earlier this month, led by the 25 members of its Cabinet, Chaired by Michael Bourque, Senior Vice President for External Affairs at MEMIC, along with Vice Chair, John Chandler, Managing Principal and CPA at BerryDunn.

Hundreds gathered to kick off United Way’s annual fundraising effort with a food drive and sculpture contest on September 9, 2016 at Monument Square. In addition to some creative and impressive sculptures, participants helped collect enough food for 15,905 meals (a record for the largest one day food drive in Cumberland County). On hand to help unveil the $8 campaign goal were ten Loaned Executives from Gorham Savings Bank, Hannaford, L.L.Bean, MaineHealth, Maine Medical Center, Unum, and WEX – on loan to United Way for nine weeks to help execute the campaign.

“Greater Portland is an incredible place to live and work.” said Bourque. “It’s also very charitable, and I’ve learned over the years that when we ask our community to get involved, they do.”

This year also unveils Thrive2027, Greater Portland’s ten-year community goals that serve as a blueprint for a stronger community. United Way of Greater Portland is one of over 100 partners committed to supporting these goals and will serve as the backbone structure, ensuring data is shared and partners from all sectors align services and systems. These goals reflect the aspirations of approximately 2,200 individuals and are grounded in what data tells us are needs in the community.

To make measurable progress on these goals, we will need everyone to come together around these three shared goals with a common set of strategies and metrics,” Liz Cotter Schlax, President & CEO of United Way of Greater Portland. “Aligning our work around Thrive2027 will enable us to make the greatest possible impact, and we look forward to working with those committed to bringing their strengths to the table to achieve these goals.”

In recognition of the importance and interconnectedness of Thrive2027’s three 10-year goals for Cumberland County, and to inspire the widespread community support needed to achieve these goals, the John T. Gorman Foundation has offered to again match all new and increased donations to this year’s campaign, up to $250,000. This means that any increases to corporate gifts, and all new individual gifts or increases by existing donors, will be matched 100% by the Foundation.

This year’s $8 million goal builds on the success of last year’s campaign, chaired by Bill Caron, Jr., President of MaineHealth, and Larry World, Maine President, TD Bank.