UW Credit Union Employees Help Raise Nearly Half a Million Dollars in Advance of Giving Tuesday

Employee pledges jump 24% in annual Community Giving Campaign

A woman stands outside on a deck holding a sign for the Virtual 5K. The sign reads "I participate because I want to give back -- I have more than I need."

UW Credit Union’s annual community giving campaign wrapped just in time for Giving Tuesday this year, generating a combined $459,000 to benefit its branch communities. More than $400,000 of the funds raised serve as unrestricted contributions to both United Way Dane County and United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha Counties.

UW Credit Union set an ambitious 2020 goal to raise $268,000 via company-matched employee gifts, external community events, and internal initiatives like the team’s annual silent auction and trivia night. And then the pandemic hit.

Despite virtual workplace conditions, suspended lobby service and unprecedented economic impact, UW Credit Union employees rallied together, increased their giving by 24 percent, and ultimately contributed to a record 50 percent increase in total campaign results. With new fundraising additions like its “Masked Singer” video competition, virtual 5K and online earrings drive hosted by its Women’s Leadership network, UW Credit Union pivoted quickly, and had some much-needed fun along the way.

“I’m proud, I’m grateful, I’m thrilled; there aren’t really enough words to describe how honored I am to work alongside such selfless, committed individuals,” said UW Credit Union President & CEO Paul Kundert. “But I’m not surprised. The team we have and the talent we attract is special. They remind me every day that progress is possible, regardless of circumstance. As we hear more about the rapid increase in calls to United Way 211 this season, I encourage anyone who is in a position to give to consider donating this Giving Tuesday.”

This year, UW Credit Union agreed to make an additional corporate gift of $18,000 to United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha Counties and $150,000 to United Way Dane County. These gifts, combined with employee pledging, corporate match and UW Credit Union’s double match for first-time pledgers, brought the total contribution to more than $32,000 for United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha Counties, nearly $362,000 to United Way Dane County, plus nearly $17,000 for other United Way locations serving UW Credit Union’s branch communities. Employee giving and UW Credit Union match also raised more than $49,000 for Community Shares Wisconsin, a regional coalition that addresses leading social, economic and environmental problems in Wisconsin through grassroots advocacy and public education.

“We are incredibly grateful for UW Credit Union’s support, especially during this challenging year,” said Susan Smieja, Sr. Campaign Manager, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. “We look forward to highlighting UW Credit Union as a “Game Changer,” during our Campaign Closing Celebration on December 9, and thanking all who have helped us make a difference in our community.”

United Way Dane County President & CEO Renee Moe echoed that sentiment, sharing more about the current capital campaign. 

“These additional funds couldn’t have come at a better time. The spikes we are seeing in calls mirror the increased demand across Dane County for critical resources ranging from shelter and food to childcare and health access. We are leaning on the community this holiday season – both companies and individuals – to help us adequately tackle these building blocks of well-being as we move into 2021.”

This year marks Kundert’s third year on the Campaign Cabinet Leadership Team for United Way Dane County, with 2020 serving as the final Chair year. Kundert was Vice Chair in 2018 and 2019.

To make a gift to United Way this Giving Tuesday, visit United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County or United Way of Dane County.

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