Charitable Campaign: ‘Give it your way!’
Worthy groups on and off campus benefit from donor choices

By Diane Ainsworth, Public Affairs



The university’s outreach to K-12 students has been significantly affected by the recently passed state budget — onereason to consider giving generously to the campus Charitable Campaign. Donations may be targeted to specific campus programs, such as School/University Partnerships, which offers special tutoring programs to selected local schools.
Jeff Wason photo

13 November 2002 | Want a quick and efficient way to donate to your favorite charity — or one that would be your favorite charity if you only knew about it?

Berkeley staff and faculty can donate to groups ranging from the Alzheimer’s Prevention Foundation to Meals on Wheels and the United Negro College Fund — and hundreds more — by making a contribution to the 2002 UC Berkeley Charitable Campaign. The United Way of the Bay Area funnels contributions to recipients of each donor’s choice.

Charitable organizations are not the only programs that can benefit from these donations, however. Many campus programs, hard hit by budget cuts, can benefit in important ways.
“This is a tough climate for charitable campaigns,” acknowledges Bud Travers, chair of the 2002 campaign. “It’s no secret that the declining stock market is having an impact. UC faculty and staff are facing smaller raises than usual, as well as increased benefits contributions, so the challenge is to have the campus community realize that there are people and groups out there facing even tougher conditions.”

People want to make sure that administrative and overhead costs don’t eat away at the gifts that they make, Travers notes. “The campus program is structured so that 100 percent of each person’s donation is given directly to the intended program or organization,” he says.

The funds go to hundreds of organizations and institutions that help the needy with food and shelter, work for a better environment, provide health care, youth activities, mental health and counseling services, services to the elderly, alcohol and drug rehabilitation, and legal aid.

Campus organizations in need of support are just as varied: Donors can contribute to research programs, athletics, Cal Performances, the Botanical Garden, the University Symphony, the Museums of Natural History, various academic departments, the Bancroft Library, and many more.

Campus programs worth helping
Several key programs that stand to benefit from charitable contributions this year have been singled out by Chancellor Robert Berdahl as serving vital roles in upholding the university’s mission of academic excellence and public service. Among the most wide-reaching is the School/University Partnership Program (formerly the Berkeley Pledge), which has been hailed as an exemplary outreach program for K-12 students. For years the program has been creating a “college-going culture” at many Bay Area schools by providing students and teachers with special tutoring programs, college resource rooms, and other learning opportunities.

While college is not for everybody, says program director Gail Kaufman, these programs are making sure that everyone who graduates from high school is prepared to enter college if they make that choice.

“It’s more important than ever to continue this work, especially in lean budget years,” Kaufman says. “By supporting the School/Univer-sity Partnership Program, charitable contributions will go to supporting our undergraduate and graduate students, who are working to help kids understand that college is an option.”

Charitable contributions are improving undergraduate education at Berkeley as well, says College of Letters and Science Assistant Dean Mary Jane Perna. “In times like these, when we all face budget constraints at work and at home, it may be hard to be as generous as in more expansive times,” she says. “But given the reliance of the campus on private support, I hope campus employees will be mindful of the many ways in which even a modest gift can have an impact.

“For example,” Perna said, “in Letters & Science — where 18,000 of Berkeley’s 23,000 undergrads are educated — we fund several special programs entirely through charitable gifts, such as the Freshman and Sophomore Seminars programs, L&S College Courses, and undergraduate research opportunities.”

Donors might choose to help keep Berkeley’s libraries among the top in the nation, according to University Librarian Tom Leonard. This year, Berkeley was ranked the top public-research-university library in the United States by the Association of Research Libraries, third overall behind only Harvard and Yale. To maintain that ranking, Cal’s library relies on donations to continually update its collections and expand access to electronic journals and databases.

“That’s a daunting job,” says Leonard, “and what’s more, we have to make sure new students know how to use these resources.”

Since 1983, the UC Berkeley Charitable Campaign has given employees the chance to contribute to Bay Area nonprofits, national charities, and campus programs via payroll deduction, check, money order, or credit card payments. For information, look for a pledge packet in the campus mail or visit


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