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Kitson Announced As New United Way Leader

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A major non-profit organization that supports health and human services has announced new leadership. Ideastream’s Brian Bull reports on United Way of Greater Cleveland’s new president and CEO.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 4:33 pm

It’s a lateral move, and one that points east for Bill Kitson. He’s wrapping up a stint as president of United Way of Greater Toledo. Kitson is bringing nearly a quarter of a century’s experience in fundraising and leadership inside the United Way organization, which also includes work in Milwaukee, New York, and his home state of Rhode Island.

Kitson says he’ll listen to community members, to gauge their needs. He also says United Way will keep pushing for support, in the wake of the recession.

“The reality is, we need revenue to do this work," says Kitson. "And so the fundraising is going to be important. That focus is not going to change. And absolutely we need to raise more than we’ve been raising. But that community work is critical, too. We need to make sure that there’s a balance there, and our fundraising is pointed towards something that makes an impact.”

Kitson begins June 4th. He succeeds Mike Benz, who’s retiring after 17 years leading United Way of Greater Cleveland.

After falling short of a $42.5 million goal in 2008, the group has since scaled back and has consecutively surpassed its annual fundraising goals, averaging $40 million.

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