Local News

Caring leader - Editorial

Anderson's efforts energized agencies.

Date: 4/1/2010

Posted by Finney County United Way, Inc. on 4/9/2010


A good leader believes in the cause.

They also lead by example. Anyone who has spent time with Margaret Anderson knows she's been such a leader and more as executive director of the Finney County United Way.

Anderson recently announced her retirement from the United Way post she's held since 1996, and will be honored during a reception from 5 to 7 tonight at the Wheat Lands Convention Center.

Friends and colleagues know Anderson as someone who didn't just put in time as the local United Way chief, but rather was a dedicated leader who "walked the walk" -- even when times were tough.

She never seemed to tire of the many appearances at workplaces and other events that gave her an opportunity to share the United Way mission. And the annual fundraising campaign for local United Way agencies never was easy.

Whether it was a down economy or competition from other worthy charities that made it more difficult to collect contributions, Anderson and her volunteers pushed forward.

That determination resulted in more than $7 million raised for local United Way-funded agencies in Anderson's 14-year run, with recent annual fundraising drives topping $500,000.

Every dollar is making a difference, especially in a community with changing needs and challenges. Last year the United Way helped fund 21 agencies that encourage better health, financial stability and education, and every agency could make a case for putting even more contributions to good use.

Anderson and her board of directors often had to make tough decisions in allocating funds. They worked to spread dollars around to reach as many people as possible served by agencies that help at-risk youth, the elderly, disabled, homeless and others.

Understanding donors want to know they're making a prudent investment, Anderson made sure agencies were accountable in the use of those funds.

She knew the importance of effectively communicating why United Way contributions were needed, and where those dollars would go.

Because of that, Anderson achieved results -- and leaves the local United Way in great shape to continue its support for agencies that make Finney County a stronger, healthier place to live.