Column: Publix again provides $5 million-plus to Atlanta’s United Way
By Maria Saporta
Published in the ABC on Friday, July 27, 2012
Publix Super Markets continues to reign supreme when it comes to the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta.
United Way, which closed out its 2011 campaign of $80.4 million (led by Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson), reconfirmed that Publix Super Markets is in a league of its own.
For the third year in row, Publix had a $5 million-plus campaign in metro Atlanta. It’s the only company in the region to ever raise that kind of money for the umbrella nonprofit organization.
The two other largest campaigns were AT&T and Combined Federal Campaign, each raising more than $4 million.
Three companies raised at least $3 million — United Parcel Service Inc. (for years the delivery company that had run the largest campaign in metro Atlanta, and last year the campaign had reached the $4 million level); SunTrust Banks Inc. and The Coca-Cola Co.
And Georgia Power/Southern Co. had campaigns that topped $2 million.
A host of companies continued to raise $1 million or more — Delta Air Lines Inc., Wells Fargo, IBM, QuikTrip, AGL Resources Inc., Deloitte, GE, Genuine Parts, Ernst & Young, Kroger, and Cox Enterprises Inc. and its related entities.
The overall results were strikingly similar to the 2010 campaign when,$80.2 million was raised with a couple of exceptions. That campaign was led by John Somerhalder, CEO of AGL Resources.
Bank of America had been in the $1 million range, and it dropped off during the 2011 campaign. The State Charitable Campaign also had raised $1 million-plus in 2010, and it was not listed as one of the million-dollar campaigns in 2011. Also, for the last two years, no Atlanta-based law firm had a $1 million campaign. In 2010, King & Spalding had been part of that elite club.
Given the economic fluidity among the top companies in metro Atlanta, United Way officials always are quick to highlight those campaigns that experienced significant growth from one year to the next.
For the 2011 campaign, United Way representatives said they saw large increases in the following campaigns — Publix, AT&T, Delta, SunTrust, QuikTrip, Accenture, Equifax, Deloitte and Georgia Power.
More on United Way. Although much attention is given to how much money United Way is able to raise each year in employee and corporate campaigns, the real issue is the organization’s ability to allocate grants to worthy nonprofit agencies.
A year ago, United Way totally changed the way it awarded grants to local nonprofits by going to a zero-based budgeting method based on meeting six strategic community initiatives.
The end result was that several agencies that once received funding from United Way did not receive grants, some saw their United Way grants reduced while others saw their grants increased.
United Way has now announced its second year of grants that are part of its Community Impact Fund.
The fund actually increased from $15.2 million in 2011 to $16.3 million in 2012.
Also, the number of organizations receiving grants also increased from 126 organizations to 147.
“The Community Impact Fund is a valuable tool in our approach to helping our community thrive. It supports community work in preparing children to succeed in school, achieving self-sufficiency for families, keeping people healthy, and providing a permanent home for all.
The Community Impact Fund pool increased over last year due to less designated giving, which means more of our partner agencies making a bigger impact to help the underserved,” said United Way President Milton J. Little Jr.
The six strategic initiatives are: babies are born healthy; children enter schools ready to learn and graduate prepared for careers; young people avoid risky behaviors; families are self-sufficient; peoplehave access to primary health care; and homeless people are housed within one year.
New leader at VOX.
A new executive director has been hired by Vox Teen Communications, an innovative Atlanta-based youth development program.
Kaziem Woodbury, most recently the assistant vice president of external affairs for the Alliance for Downtown New York, was selected following a national search for someone to succeed founding director Rachel Alterman Wallack, who will stay on part time as director of strategic initiatives.
As part of his duties in New York, Woodbury helped manage the Business Improvement District for Lower Manhattan and helped promote the downtown area as a premier place for businesses, residents and visitors.
“The VOX board feels strongly that we’ve arrived at an ideal team to lift VOX teens to new levels of success,” said Todd Cregar, co-chair of VOX’s board. “We are so fortunate to benefit from Kaziem Woodbury’s energetic presence and his rich experience working with communities, communications and youth.”
In addition to being a youth development organization, VOX is the city’s only large-circulation publication by teens. The organization is about to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
GSU and the Olympics.
Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business is playing a role in the Summer Olympic Games in London.
Nineteen students from the college are working on an internship program with The Coca-Cola Co. on its Olympic marketing presence in London.
“These students working with Coca-Cola are gaining hands-on, practical learning beyond the classroom at the world’s most important event — and working for the most recognized brand in the world,” according to an email from Joshua Grotheer, the London Olympic Intern Coordinator for GSU’s Robinson College.
The 19 students are part of a team of more than 400 Coca-Cola representatives who will be responsible for seeing that Coke products (an estimated 23 million servings) will be “100 percent available 100 percent of the time at the perfect chilled temperature throughout London 2012,” Grotheer said.