Published September 29, 2018 13:50
When Johnston Group’s office holds its annual fundraising campaign to support United Way Winnipeg, almost everyone chips in.
"We always have over 90 per cent participation in the United Way campaign. Our staff is phenomenal in terms of their commitments," said Dave Angus, chief executive officer of the employee-benefits firm.
Those contributions get amplified into even more support for United Way. Johnston Group Inc. matches its employee’s donations, and this year another Winnipeg-headquartered company, Payworks, committed further matching for new donors who committed $1,200 or more.
"So, it’s a significant incentive for people to look to get to that level this year, because it can really leverage the Payworks investment to double the impact, and double the number of kids they can help and families they can support," Angus said.
"Knowing that your donation not only is doubled by the company, but is then again matched by Payworks if you’re in that leadership category, had a lot of people join that group for the first time," said Matthew Johnston, manager of wellness at Johnston Group.
"And if you’ve been in that category in previous years, you decided to up it because Payworks gave an additional amount of money. It was just a wonderful incentive."
This was Johnston’s third year of donating to the United Way through his office campaign.
"As a company, I think our heart and soul revolves around supporting community," he said. "And so the United Way campaign is really the centre of it. I would say it’s probably the most special week of the year."
United Way Winnipeg takes those corporate donations and spreads them around to worthy local causes, such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Winnipeg.
President and CEO Ron Brown says the organization operates 12 clubs across the city, giving children and youth a positive place to go when they’re not in school.
"If there was no funding, if the United Way stopped tomorrow, half of what we do would stop as well," Brown said.
"The uptake on what the United Way is doing in our community is unparalleled," he said. "I don’t see this anywhere else in the country, where a big part of our community is involved. In our case, it’s really reassuring that that happens. We can count on that support being there, which allows us to plan long-term."
Brown says he and his staff also donate annually to United Way Winnipeg. For him, it’s a simple way to support multiple community organizations with just one donation.
"We work with many of them, so I know that that’s something that’s absolutely worthwhile — it makes our city a better place," he said.
"The other thing I always assure people who commit to investing in the United Way is that the United Way pays very close attention to what we do. In other words, they hold us accountable for the money we get, and we’re perfectly comfortable doing that."