Meet Monica Cravotta, United Way’s VP, Development and Programs
“Give where you live.” A credo that Monica Cravotta grew up with in her philanthropic family who contributed much to their community in Florence, South Carolina. Monica, United Way of Monroe County’s Vice President, Development and Programs, was born in Hartford, Connecticut. Her family moved to South Carolina when she was a baby. She remembers many plaques on the wall of their den, showing the appreciation of her parents’ support for local nonprofits. Her father, Philip Bein, even served as Chair of their local United Way campaign!
From HBO to the Poconos
Monica started her career with a focus in business. Monica earned both her Bachelor of Science and MBA from New York University. She served as Manager, Finance and Analysis at HBO, where she met her husband, Drew, who also worked in the media and entertainment industry. They decided to move their family to Pennsylvania in December 2001; 3 months to the day after 9/11/2001, an event that both Monica and her husband experienced personally and which impacted them deeply. Moving from New York City to the Pocono Mountains was a family decision, as Monica made the difficult decision to leave her fruitful position to focus on their 2 young children, Laine and Erik. Monica remains deeply committed to her family. Monica’s daughter, Laine, is now a Junior studying Communication Design at Kutztown University. Erik, a Senior at Stroudsburg High School, has just achieved the rank of Eagle in Boy Scouts. In fact, Erik’s Eagle project was refurbishing the 9/11 Memorial Garden at the United Way of Monroe County property in Tannersville, for the 15th anniversary of this tragic event.
While focusing her efforts on her children, Monica got to know her new community very well through her involvement with her local parent teacher association, as Treasurer and President. Monica’s outreach and engagement in the community began expanding, as Monica began approaching local businesses for contributions for student field trips and other extracurricular activities. “I enjoyed going out and asking for support from others”, Monica maintains. With that combination of a strong business background and getting her feet wet with fundraising , Monica started her tenure at United Way of Monroe County in March 2009.
Monica began as Campaign and Fund Distribution Associate and immediately became immersed in the world of health and human services. She deeply believes in the value that United Way partner agencies and other nonprofits bring to our community, as well as United Way’s critical role in bringing people together to solve complex problems that individual organizations cannot accomplish alone. “Without United Way’s workplace campaign model, actively soliciting employees and individuals each year, much of the funds raised in Monroe County would simply not happen,” says Monica. “The old saying that ‘the main reason people don’t give is that they’re not asked’ still rings true.” Over the years, Monica’s role in raising funds and supporting United Way’s annual community investment process continued to grow.
Women Helping Women
When United Way transitioned to a Collective Impact model last year, Monica’s position expanded to become the VP for Development and Programs. Monica saw it as an opportunity to start a local chapter of WOMEN UNITED, a global network of dynamic and diverse women dedicated to improving their community through philanthropy, advocacy and volunteerism. As Monica notes, “It’s women helping women, with the specific focus of our chapter on supporting single mothers – one of the most economically challenged groups of parents in our community.”
WOMEN UNITED’s first volunteer project, a Valentine’s Shoe Box project, was a great success, with 300 boxes distributed to single mothers presently accessing services from United Way partner agency programs. A Mother’s Day High Tea benefiting WOMEN UNITED, is scheduled for May 6 at Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort. For more information on this event, visit the United Way’s Events Page or reach out to Monica, through our Contact Page.