United Way falls short of goal


Steve Heacock, Maureen Noe and Michael Jandernoa at Celebrate United. Courtesy United Way

Heart of West Michigan United Way didn’t quite meet its campaign goals for 2014, but it still had a fairly good year.

At its “Celebrate United” event earlier this week, the West Michigan nonprofit announced that its 2014 campaign had raised $11,601,479 to support Kent County’s health and human services programs. This amount was just shy of its $12 million goal for the year.

“While we may have not reached our campaign goal, we are so appreciative of the generosity West Michigan has shown this year and in the past,” said Maureen Noe, president and CEO of Heart of West Michigan United Way.

“We are all connected. We all have a stake in making our community healthy and prosperous, and when we work together, we can create a better life for all. To raise more than $11 million is amazing and shows the true philanthropic spirit of Kent County. We are grateful for all of the donors and volunteers who choose to invest in our community through United Way.”

Workplace campaigns have traditionally provided more than 80 percent of the total annual funds Heart of West Michigan United Way raises. About 30,000 donors and more than 450 local companies participated last year.

When all campaign contributions, income and grants are added together, United Way raised more than $13 million this past year, according to a press release.

“Many of our key donors are baby boomers who are retiring in record numbers,” said Michael Jandernoa, chair of the 2014 United Way Campaign and founder and CEO of 42 North Partners.

“We are working closely to build a new generation of donors by engaging the millennials in our workplace companies. We are also working on improving our online pledging system to make it easier for donors who wish to go that route.”


The event also included recognition of three community award recipients. The winners were nominated and chosen by a committee comprised of community volunteers.

Integrated Architecture of Grand Rapids was named the winner of the Give Award.

Art Tanis, former Kent County commissioner, was named the winner of the Advocate Award.

GE Aviation, based in Grand Rapids, was named the winner of the Volunteer Award.

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