It didn’t seem possible. All signs pointed to the reality that Shelby County United Fund (SCUFFY) might miss the target for the first time in its 66-year history. Drive volunteers and the SCUFFY board were preparing for a near-miss.
Then, a couple of large donations helped pull the campaign across the finish line.
Final calculations were tabulated during the SCUFFY board meeting on Thursday. With a goal of $850,000 for the 2020 drive, SCUFFY and all of its volunteers raised a grand total of:$855,848.38 – solidly surpassing their goal.
Kyle Beaty, chair of the 2020 drive said, “This was certainly a team effort. In March, when the drive was kicking off and businesses started shutting down – I thought we were in trouble and had some doubts. But seeing the effects of the pandemic on Shelby County, specifically through the lens of our agencies motivated us. We knew that our services were going to be needed at this time more than ever. So, we had to reach our goal. And once again, our community has pulled through and we made it happen.”
During a typical year, the SCUFFY fundraising drive begins the first Wednesday in March and concludes on the first Wednesday in May. This year, the board decided to extend the drive to give businesses a chance to get back on their feet following the COVID-19 shutdowns. This turned out to be the right call.
Beaty said that last minute donations from Indiana Grand Racing and Casino, plus a generous gift from an anonymous donor made a critical difference. “Some of the larger employers made corporate gifts on top of employee contributions, together those donations really contributed to our success,” Beaty said.
“Our Industry and Labor division is always the biggest portion of our drive,” Executive Director Alecia Gross said. “This year several companies participated in corporate matching. That leveraged donations and made a great impact.”
Gross said Brazeway Inc, Ryobi Die Casting, Yushiro Manufacturing America and Knauf Insulation were some of the heroes of this year’s campaign.
“We also had lots of individuals and smaller companies really step up and try new things to boost our donations,” said Gross. She added that The Bicycle Shop donated a bike for a fundraising raffle, Scot Shrader organized a virtual benefit concert, Sharp Trophies sold logo tumblers, Blue River Bouncers had popcorn sales, and Blue River Dental created a marketing campaign for new patients to benefit SCUFFY.
SCUFFY organization also had to adapt fundraising efforts. We were disappointed that we were unable to meet with businesses, engage with the public, and fulfill some of long running SCUFFY drive traditions, like Roadblock. But we were able to adapt and tried many new virtual fundraising methods. SCUFFY hopes to adopt some of these new methods for future drives.
“It is truly amazing,” Beaty said. “When you think about how many people stepped up to help us make our total of $855,848.38. Every dollar makes a difference. Our agencies and all of those served by SCUFFY are so appreciative.”
“The work SCUFFY does creates a vital safety net throughout Shelby County”, Gross said. “Our board is committed – perhaps now more than ever, to make sure our services are ready and available to our community during difficult times.”