Contributions to United Way of the Great Salt Lake Area are up $300,000 over this time last year. Since the campaign kicked off Sept. 2, the agency has raised $1.6 million - 26 percent of its 1993 goal.

Community volunteers, who serve on the agency's campaign cabinet, set a $6 million goal for the year. Last year United Way raised $5.85 million."Reports of increased donations from the organizations and businesses running United Way campaigns this year are encouraging," said Rick Cagen, administrator of LDS Hospital and campaign chairman for 1993. "At this point, we are optimistic about reaching the $6 million mark."

Highlights include a 311-percent increase from Cottonwood Hospital, with more than $20,000 donated by employees. Intermountain Health Care employees raised $63,337 - a 30-percent increase. Franklin Quest's employees contributed more than $20,000, which was matched by a corporate gift.

Local banks are showing jumps. The largest employee gift increase of 45 percent came from West One Bank. Bank One staffers have raised their contributions by 35 percent. And First Security Bank employees saw a 13-percent increase.

Other highlights of the early returns include a 23-percent increase from the Deseret News Publishing Company employees and a corporate gift increase of 17 percent. American General Financial employees more than doubled their gift.

Donations to United Way will be distributed to 51 local nonprofit organizations like YWCA, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the American Heart Association and the Salvation Army. In the Salt Lake area, one out of three persons receive help because of public donations to the United Way.