the Executive Director
wish I could take you to a Georgia Shares board meeting. You
would get to meet the best and the brightest: the talented and
passionate leaders of Georgia Shares' member agencies. Every
day of the week, these are the people who confront the realities
of homelessness and poverty, of violence and disease, of prejudice
and injustice. They have clearly identified the needs of the
constituencies their agencies represent and they are focused
on long-term solutions to systemic problems.
you came to a Georgia Shares board meeting you would also get
to witness a joyous occasion: the distribution of our campaign
revenue. Every quarter Georgia Shares distributes almost $40,000
to our member agencies. While this is wonderful, and a fine
tribute to the creativity and vision of the founding members
of Georgia Shares, we also know that some of our sister funds
across the country are raising close to $500,000 a year for
their agencies. We believe that figure is an attainable goal
for Georgia Shares in this decade.
reason we are confident that we can grow to have a half million
dollar impact on progressive charitable organizations throughout
the state of Georgia is that we are continually pursuing new
workplaces in which to offer choice in charitable giving. In
2000, along with our coalition partners the Earth Share of Georgia,
the Georgia Black United Fund, and Community Health Charities
of Georgia, we gained access to the City of Atlanta Public Schools.
Now teachers and administrators throughout Atlanta can give,
easily, to organizations whose work they already know and support.
the country, workers are demanding choice in their payroll-deduction
campaigns. There is clear evidence that workplace campaigns
which choose to include more than just the United Way result
in both increased participation and increased total revenue.
What's more, there is an intangible result as well: a much greater
sense of employee satisfaction. Many corporate leaders are beginning
to see an expanded campaign as an increased employee benefit
at little or no cost to the company. Emory University
has recently made the decision to include our four federations
in their fall 2001 campaign. We are thrilled to participate
in Emory Gives and believe many Emory employees will choose
Georgia Shares agencies for their charitable contributions.
am very proud of the successes Georgia Shares has achieved in
just a few years of operation. I am very excited, too, about
the future of our work. We have already seen the impact on our
member agencies: increased services to their constituencies,
and a greater sense of financial stability. We look forward
to more joyous board meetings, where some day soon we'll be
distributing over $100,000 every three months. These funds,
and this way of enabling the working people of Georgia to give
to what matters to them, are making a big difference in the
lives of over 250,000 people served by Georgia Shares member
agencies every year.
has been an honor and a joy for me to be part of Georgia Shares
for the past seven years. I look forward to more successes and
many more dollars to disburse in the future.