Capital Area United Way on track for workplace giving rebound

Capital Area United Way is ramping up its workplace giving campaigns after Louisiana’s fourth surge of COVID-19 and Hurricane Ida caused delays. 

Workplace giving, CAUW’s primary funding source, was down about 31% last year as pandemic concerns kept the organization from going into many of the companies where it would usually do presentations, President and CEO George Bell says. 

“The reception has been very good,” he says. “I think we’re on track to have a bit of a rebound.”

CAUW runs about 300 workplace campaigns, Vice President of Resource Development Amey Shortess Crousillac says. United Way has been in contact with 80% of them and they either have run, are running or have campaign dates set up before the end of the year, she says. 

Campaigns started in earnest in September, Bell says, noting that the schedule has been compressed. 

“Our staff has really been doing double-time with presentations,” he says. 

This year’s Jambalaya Jam was held in person last month after going virtual last year. Bell says 32 teams competed this year, compared to a record 50 in 2019. He says CAUW raised more than $170,000 two years ago, about $100,000 through last year’s virtual event and about $131,000 this year. 

“We had all of our sponsors step up and say, ‘We’re in this year,’” Bell adds. 

Like many nonprofits, CAUW has faced challenges raising money due to the pandemic and storms, which also increase the need for the services they help to provide. He says CAUW raised almost $1.6 million for disaster relief and recovery following Hurricane Ida.

“That alone speaks to the generosity of our community,” Bell says. “[But] that cuts into what a company or corporation has available to give to the ongoing work that we do.”