Over the course of 2021, we will feature 100 Heroes who have been instrumental in our fight for the basic needs, education and financial stability of our neighbors for the past century. To learn more about how we are continuing to serve the Bluegrass in 2021, click here.
Today we are interviewing Morgan Daulton, a former Employee Campaign Coordinator, YLS member, and former Chair of the Finance Committee.
What is your role with UWBG?
I am an accountant. Way back in the day, in 2007 or 2008, I was told, “it would be very good for your development if you chaired our United Way campaign.” At that time in my workplace, we had an annual office campaign and it was a really big deal. I was determined to make that year’s campaign the best the office had ever seen. That’s all it took to get me hooked with United Way of the Bluegrass (UWBG). I learned about what they do, why people are giving and where the money is going. I quickly realized how important United Way is to Central Kentucky. The impact people are making is huge and this is what brought me in. For the next several years, I was the campaign coordinator at my workplace for United Way.
In 2014, I was asked to join the finance committee. A few years later, I was asked to be the chair of the committee and therefore I also served on the Board of Directors. I was the chair of the finance committee for a few years and then continued to serve as a member of the finance committee.
This past year I relocated to Louisville, though I still serve on UWBG’s finance committee. We now realize we can function via Zoom calls and since the pandemic started, we have been doing all our meetings virtually. I am still connected to Lexington and really care about the Bluegrass and the surrounding areas.
What did this role include? What would a normal day look like for you?
Each day honestly depended on what role I was in at the time. When I was an ECC (Employee Campaign Chair), I would spend my days being a cheerleader, answering questions for people, making sure that if they had any hesitations about giving they could get answers as to why they were hesitant, and planning fun things. I had something fun planned every day of the week. Some of the activities included giving money, putting money in a pot to bet on people or even having a dunking booth where people could pay to dunk the CEO and the money raised would benefit our fundraising campaign for United Way.
Being on the finance committee, and serving as the chair, takes knowledge of United Way and history with the organization. The people I work with at UWBG are great. Vicki and Ashley and other United Way staff members, send us information before each meeting or discussion. This has to be done for the organization to function and thrive. At the end of the day, it’s all about the money you’re raising for impact programs and partners, making sure the money is going to the right place, and making sure the organization is healthy going forward.
In terms of a day, the finance committee only meets once a quarter, as does the audit committee. When I was chair, I would go to the board meetings to present information to the full Board of Directors.
Throughout all these years, I think it has helped my growth by being involved with United Way of the Bluegrass. I hope I have been able to give back as well by offering expertise and guidance.
What do you think is the most special thing about UWBG?
What I love most about UWBG is the people. During my time as chair, I worked closely with past president and CEO, Bill Farmer, and you could not ask for a better human being. Ashley Hays, in human resources and accounting, is one of my best friends. Vicki Seale is wonderful, and Katie Williams is fantastic. United Way is just filled with really bright people who are committed to the cause and truly understand how important the cause is to our community. I see firsthand how United Way helps people. For me, it’s the people and the passion they have for the work they’re doing.
In your opinion, what positive change has UWBG made in the Bluegrass over the past 100 years?
I was with UWBG through the Big Bold Goal of helping 50,000 families become more self-sufficient in five years. United Way was able to track progress and the goal was vastly exceeded. Having that impact on families in the Bluegrass region was a huge step. Raising yourself out of poverty and making sure you have all your basic needs met is critical to long term financial stability and success. I can’t speak to the years before 2008, but to me, this was a massive undertaking that was achieved while I’ve been involved with the organization. It is definitely a significant achievement.
What’s your favorite place in the Bluegrass?
I was in the UK marching band, so my favorite place is Commonwealth Stadium, now Kroger Field. Some of my favorite memories as a student were in Commonwealth Stadium.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the Bluegrass?
The Bluegrass 10,000. I do the 10K every year with my running friends and it’s always very fun. There’s always a fun party afterward downtown. It’s a great, fun day. I enjoy running in general, but especially the Bluegrass 10,000.
Thank you for being such a strong part of UWBG, Morgan! We appreciate you and all that you do.
Do you know someone who has worked alongside United Way of the Bluegrass in the past century who should be considered for our 100 Heroes series? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your nomination!