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Charitable Giving Campaign
Breaks a Record

Date: Jan. 24, 2002
By: Marianne Kunnen-Jones
Phone: (513) 556-1826
Archive: Campus News

Last fall as Americans poured their hearts and hard-earned money into causes related to the survivors of Sept. 11's tragedies, it looked as if other charitable endeavors would languish, including UC's annual Charitable Giving Campaign. Not to worry. It turns out that the 2001 fund-raising effort was the most successful in university history.

With a goal of $325,000, UC faculty, staff and emeriti raised $314,303.75 to benefit both United Way and Community Shares. The record-breaking amount was a pleasant surprise, especially for Jeannette Songer, this year's campaign chair, and Paul Michaud, associate vice president for Human Resources, which is the unit that oversees the annual effort.

The success is especially amazing because fewer individuals contributed this year. Compared to the prior year, there were 216 fewer donors.

"But the average pledge was up. Fewer people gave more," says Michaud. While the average pledge the prior year was $168, this year it rose to $186.

"I have to attribute some of that to 9-11," says Songer. In a fall touched by pending faculty negotiations and a delayed staff raise, she had feared the UC fund would not do well. "When I sent my letter out to faculty and staff, I did initially stress the fact that with the tragedy of 9-11 we need to keep in mind our own community."

Of the amount raised, $239,356.94 goes to United Way, while Community Shares receives $74,946.81. "Community Shares is absolutely thrilled because we represent the majority of their giving," says Songer, assistant dean in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

For the past two years, the university has relied on direct mail for the campaign, rather than the old system of using coordinators within each unit. "Direct mail is the preferred method by employees," says Michaud.

Michaud thanks Songer for her leadership in the campaign. "This year, it was not an easy job," he said. In turn, Songer thanks sponsors who donated incentive awards for pledges, such as the Bookstore, the College-Conservatory of Music, the Association for Administrative and Professional Women and UC Association for Administrators, Managers and Professionals. She voices gratitude to the HR staff and to Joan Fisher at A&S. "The campaign would not be as successful as it is without their help," she says.

With donations still trickling in, the 2001 total inches ever upward. Even though the campaign officially ended in October, faculty and staff should not let tardiness prevent them from sending in their pledge or donation now. "Your donation is never too late. To this day, we're still getting pledges," says Songer "We could still meet our goal," observes Michaud.

Also one-time donations are quite acceptable in lieu of a pledge for a payroll deduction. Some $82,329 in this year's campaign was one-time donations.

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