United Way of the Quad-Cities Area has raised about 61 percent percent of its $8.85 million goal in its annual workplace fundraising campaign.

As of last week, United Way had campaigns totaling $5,396,190, said Jenny Parvin, vice president of brand strategy and marketing.

Last year, the campaign raised $8.4 million. Parvin said about 500 companies across the Quad-Cities take part in the workplace drive.

United Way kicked off its campaign in August with the annual Day of Caring, when volunteers completed service projects throughout the Illinois and Iowa Quad-Cities.

United Way president Scott Crane said overall, the organization is seeing an increase in campaign contributions this year.

“It’s hard to project what the actual increase will be, but we do think we’re going to end up with more than last year,” he said.

Crane estimated that most companies and organizations will complete their campaign by February, and United Way will get the final campaign tally in March or April.

“It’s important that we do reach that goal because it does make a difference to the number of initiatives under way and the different agencies that are carrying out those initiatives,” Crane said.

Local companies and organizations participating in the annual workplace campaign are finding creative and fun ways to raise funds for United Way.

Some money-raisers include dunk tanks, bake sales and silent auctions.

Black Hawk College set its campaign goal at $20,000 this year, said Kim Armstrong, interim dean of support services and United Way campaign co-chair.

In October, Armstrong donned a Hawk costume and settled into a nest atop one of the buildings on campus to celebrate the halfway point of the campaign.

Last week, the college continued its efforts by holding a silent auction and a big Thanksgiving meal for students to help bring in more contributions.

Black Hawk College’s two United Way campaigns raised more than $32,000 this fall.

The Black Hawk College Quad-Cities United Way campaign was the most successful in recent history, raising more than $20,500 for United Way of the Quad-Cities Area. Contributions from employees at the college’s Quad-City locations increased by more than $3,800 from 2012.

The Black Hawk College East Campus United Way campaign completed its best-ever fundraising campaign for the Kewanee Area United Way, generating an $11,730 contribution.

Armstrong said United Way's big focus this year is to encourage local companies and organizations to get involved in the community and continue to build relationships all year long, not just during campaign time.

“It’s not just about the giving, it’s about why you give,” Armstrong said.