Lab recognized for charitable giving
Last month the United Way of Northern New Mexico (UWNNM) recognized the Lab’s unique role within the area with a Regional Partner of the Year award. The event not only acknowledged the large amount of money contributed by Lab employees and Los Alamos National Security, LLC (the Lab's management company) of more than $3 million toward the 2014 campaign but also recognized the strong ties and mutual benefits that have existed for 60 years.
When the UWNNM began in 1954 as the Community Chest, 60 percent of the contributions that first year came from Los Alamos and Lab employees. The relationship has continued to grow over the years, in part because of an overlap in service areas and commitments to improving the region. While the Lab focuses its Community Commitment Plan on a seven-county region, two of those counties (Los Alamos and Rio Arriba) are also the service territory of UWNNM.
“Because of these ties,” said Kristy Ortega, UWNNM's executive director, “we’re working to strengthen our support within our programs to better align with the Lab’s Community Commitment Plan, to include STEM efforts, since that’s of benefit to both of our organizations even while we continue to support regional nonprofits in traditional ways.”
In many ways the Lab’s relationship with the nonprofit is unusual since it runs an employee giving campaign but not a United Way campaign per se and underwrites the employee giving campaign’s administrative costs so that 100 percent of employees’ contributions can go to any 501(c)(3) designated by donors.
“We really do partner with the Lab and consider its efforts integral to our service within the region,” said Ortega. “We were glad to highlight the Lab’s contribution to our agency and the region.”