United Way of Southwest Michigan’s “Pop Up Giving”

United Way of Southwest Michigan’s “Pop Up Giving” back by popular demand on Sept. 14


A United Way favorite returns—to bring Southwest Michigan FAST, FUN, INSTANT IMPACT.


United Way of Southwest Michigan is thrilled to revive “Pop Up Giving,” where the community gets the chance to decide where funds go. The public is invited to attend “Pop Up Giving” on Thursday, September 14, from 5-6:30 p.m. at Lake Michigan College Welch Center in Benton Harbor.


Due to the past popularity of this event and the limited number of tickets (only 50 available) for this long-anticipated return, United Way is offering advance online sales. Get tickets at tinyurl.com/popupgiving or visit uwsm.org to find the purchase link.


Here’s a reminder of how Pop Up Giving works: The audience picks the nonprofit with the winning pitch to get the donation pot.


This time around, three United Way programs—Be Healthy Berrien, Berrien College Access Network, and 2-1-1—have three minutes to pitch a project that will impact the community. The audience has five minutes to complete their ballots to vote for their choice of the winner. Proceeds from ALL ticket sales are combined to create a “donation pot.” Second and third place finishers each receive consolation cash prizes of $250, while the project with the most votes WINS THE REST!


This event’s sponsor, United Way of Southwest Michigan’s Board of Directors, has already kicked in $1,200 to get the pot started!


Individual tickets are $25 and include one free drink and light appetizers provided by Lake Michigan College Welch Center. Doors open at 5 p.m. Presentations begin at 5:30 p.m.


“Everybody knows 2-1-1 is the favorite going into this event,” said Amanda Drew, Senior Director of Impact Strategies at United Way of Southwest Michigan, who is pitching on behalf of 2-1-1. “The other two are important, of course, but 2-1-1 is so central to helping people in our community, I don’t see how the votes could go any other way.”


“The voters are going to have a tough decision to make,” said Maureen Ovington, Director of Berrien College Access Network, “but I’m feeling confident about the case I can make for awareness about Career and Technical Education, which prepares students in our area for today’s high-wage, high-skill, high-demand jobs. That’s something everyone can get behind.”


“My ‘Pop Up Giving’ competition might mistakenly think I’m the underdog,” said Dawn Marie Smith, Director of Be Healthy Berrien, “but I have time on my side—time of year, that is. Right now, everybody is enjoying all the good locally grown food our area has to offer, and who wouldn’t want to make sure everyone has access to healthy produce in their local corner stores?”


Find the ticket purchase link at uwsm.org or go to tinyurl.com/popupgiving.





United Way of Southwest Michigan fights for the Health, Education, and Financial Stability of every person in every community. We have the influence and relationships to make sustainable change a reality. By harnessing resources from corporate, nonprofit, and public partners, we provide immediate assistance to our most vulnerable populations while addressing the root causes of our community's longstanding challenges and changing lives for the better. To join the fight—through giving, advocacy, and volunteering—visit www.uwsm.org.