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United Way makes fundraising goal

By Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis, MO – Despite the economic downturn, the United Way of Greater St. Louis has met its fundraising goal for the 2009 campaign.

The agency took in more than $67 million in gifts and pledges, surpassing its goal by about $600,000. It has lowered its goals in recent years to cope with the crumbling economy, said campaign chairman Hugh Grant, the president and CEO of Monsanto. But paradoxically, he said, the downturn may have helped the agency reach its goal this year.

"People are so aware of it, and the question I got all year was, what can I do to help?" Grant said.

New forms of outreach also helped.

"We had an auction, the first time we've done an online auction," Grant said. We worked with young people more than we've done in the past, we talked to retirees. We had a multicultural group that was started this year for the first time."