2020 Day of Giving Results


TOPEKA, KS, June 12, 2020—United Way of Greater Topeka donors, with a strong assist from media partner WIBW television, raised more than $17,000 in just 24 hours during its first-ever Day of Giving. Donations continued to come in after the technical end to the day, pushing the final total to $18,341, the highest amount ever raised through a single UWGT online giving event.

WIBW was essential to the success of the day, creating and airing a promotional video and running stories about United Way partners and initiatives.

Donors made138 separate monetary gifts, and several contributed school supply items for Pine Ridge Prep Preschool in an associated effort by the UWGT Young Leaders Society. Community donations were enhanced by matching gifts offered by the UWGT board, UWGT staff members and private donors.

UWGT received 45 nominations for local small businesses to be recognized through Azura’s Play it Forward promotion, which continues until August. Individuals can still make gifts and nominate their favorite small business at https://www.azuracu.com/play-it-forward/.

Even though Day of Giving has ended, individual donations, legacy gifts and sustaining contributions can be made any time by contacting United Way or by making an online gift at GiveTopeka.org. United Way is also working to make sure that local companies have resources and options for running their fall workplace campaigns under any COVID-19 restrictions.

While there is still a gap left to close before the current United Way campaign ends on June 30, staff were encouraged by the record-breaking level of engagement and giving for this first-time event, especially because it happened almost entirely online.

Vice President of Resource Development Angel Romero said, “If the last few months have taught us anything, it’s just how generous the Topeka community is. We’re not surprised, but deeply grateful for those who chose to invest in our work on the Day of Giving. Because of these donors, 185 kids, 41 seniors and 3 families will receive a year of services to help them reach their full potential.”

For CEO Jessica Lehnherr, the Day of Giving represents an important transition from the immediate needs created by the coronavirus pandemic to ongoing impact work that now has to fold in community recovery from COVID-19.

“This entire year,” Lehnherr said, “United Way has been doing what we do best—serving as a convener, bringing organizations together to tackle problems that are too big for any one of us to handle alone. We know the year ahead will be challenging, but our partners and our donors have already proven that they are ready to take it on.”

Next up for United Way will be a virtual Campaign Celebration in July. Local businesses that run workplace campaigns are invited to nominate their campaign events and United Way volunteers for some fun new awards designed to create friendly competition in the community and share best practices for running engaging and successful campaigns.

The Nancy Perry Day of Caring is scheduled for September 18, 2020, and organizers are working on a variety of changes to the projects and the day itself to accommodate public health concerns.




United Way brings together people, companies and nonprofits in Shawnee, Jefferson and Jackson Counties to create positive sustainable change in education, financial stability and health. United Way remains dedicated to supporting Basic Needs, including food, rent and utilities, health and prescription access and safety from domestic violence.