Cincy Chic: The United Way of Greater Cincinnati is starting a donor program called The Future Fund. Why did you decide to take on this new venture?
Mary Ann Remke, Future Fund director and the director of Planned Giving at United Way: Young professionals in our area are becoming increasingly supportive of human services through annual giving and volunteering. Many, however, have the misconception that endowments are only for older, very wealthy individuals and families. When in reality, any gift, any size is important to growing funds that will support future work.
In an effort to change this mindset and inspire future planned gifts, we conducted a series of focus groups with young professionals. We were pleasantly surprised to find that this group was really jazzed about the idea of contributing in a way that could forever have a positive impact on our region’s human services — a sort of philanthropic 401K, if you will. The power of collective support was very appealing to this group, and thus, the idea of The Future Fund was born.
Cincy Chic: What are the membership requirements for this new side of the United Way?
Remke: While there are monetary minimums for other endowment fund levels, there are no "membership requirements," per se, to be a part of The Future Fund. The ticket price of this event and the desire to advance the common good — forever! — entitles folks to charter membership in this collective effort.
While this event is targeted to young professionals, anyone can contribute any amount to The Future Fund.
Cincy Chic: I hear that there will be a fantastic kickoff event for The Future Fund. Tell readers a little more about this and other perks of the program.
Remke: We are launching The Future Fund with a spectacular event co-chaired by Amy Scalia and P.G. Sittenfeld that invites young professionals to mingle with our community’s most dedicated activists, thinkers, doers and dreamers who envision a better Cincinnati.
The Saturday, Nov. 13 launch will be held at a "yet-to-be-revealed" venue that boasts a skyline view from its exclusive address. Attendees will be treated to beer, wine and fabulous food by Eat Well Celebrations and Events, an evening of great dance music and photos to capture the night.
All proceeds from the $35 ticket will be donated to The Future Fund, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Jose R. Perez Jr., president of Miami NDT, Inc.
We invite you to LIVE UNITIED FOREVER by helping us to launch The Future Fund. Become part of a group of caring philanthropists who provide a legacy of help and hope for our city AND do it in a fun and social atmosphere where you can invite your friends!
Please visit EventOfTheSeason.eventbrite.com to buy tickets.
Cincy Chic: This is for our Winter Trend Report, so how is The Future Fund starting a new trend in fundraising?
Remke: At United Way, we realize that success in our work requires the collaborative efforts and support of diverse contingencies in our city.
Several years ago, United Way of Greater Cincinnati and The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, one of the co-sponsors of The Future Fund, formed such collaboration. Through vehicles of relationship–based fundraising and focused allocations based on strengths of each organization, a partnership was designed to inspire philanthropy and create a joint solution to the growing needs of tomorrow’s Greater Cincinnatians.
One of the strategies of this partnership is to seek donors "where they are in their lives" and invite them to become a part of lasting change in a way that makes sense for them, given their current life’s circumstances.
The Future Fund is a creative new way to introduce our future leaders to the power of endowment and the perpetual impact that it will have on our city.
Cincy Chic: Beyond the United Way, what do you like to do for fun?
Remke: I like to approach life with an attitude of joy, but if I had to pick top categories of "fun," it would be savoring great food and wine, traveling, playing tennis and golf, hiking, biking, reading, taking pleasure in the arts, and just being with my family and friends.
Cincy Chic: What do you love most about Cincinnati?
Remke: In all of my travels, Cincinnati always beckons me back. It is a place about which I care deeply and I call home.
It is the place of beloved family and friends, physical beauty, world class arts, top-notch medical services and technology, first-class creative industries, entertaining sports, outstanding food, and magnificent parks — to only name a few.
The real heart of Cincinnati is its people. In my job, I have the real privilege of working with some amazing leaders and some of the most generous people in the world.