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Online-giving site dials up donor outreach

| 05 June 2003

A newly revamped website has been launched to make it easier to donate to the university online, an increasingly popular way to make a gift to the campus and, as state funding for the university dwindles, a source of revenue that is of growing importance.

The new site, “Give to Cal — Where Promise Begins” (givetocal.berkeley.edu), shows prospective donors how gifts benefit Berkeley and makes it quick and easy for them to give.

“The site allows donors to give directly to nearly 300 funds on the Berkeley campus,” said Mary Keegan, director of Development Communications, the group in University Relations that created the new site. “These funds include everything from arts to science, libraries to museums, student programs to faculty research. The breadth and scope of the site is without parallel in higher education online philanthropy.”

More and more donors are opting to give to Berkeley online. Since the campus added the option to make secure online credit-card contributions three years ago, $811,333 has been donated online. Online giving totaled $264,499 for the 2001-02 fiscal year; as of May 31, with one month left in the current fiscal year, the campus has raised $391,283 online.

“American higher education has continued to be a leading recipient of philanthropy, because as a community we are committed to innovation and to enhancing the experience of our donors,” said Scott Biddy, associate vice chancellor for development. “UC Berkeley is a leader in this community, and innovation is more critical than ever during challenging times.”

Units across campus are just beginning to take advantage of the e-giving potential and to market it to their alumni and other audiences. To date, the most successful units in raising funds online have been athletics, the Haas School of Business, the Chancellor’s Funds, and the College of Engineering.

The new e-giving site includes an A-Z listing of each of the campus funds, linking prospective donors directly to a form for one-step giving. It also includes a simplified explanation of the various ways to donate to the campus and some of the latest philanthropy news from Berkeley.

Also on the site is a slide show highlighting Berkeley students and faculty who benefit from private support. The ten people now featured range from Professor Randy Schekman of molecular and cell biology to Berkeley junior Patricia Kinman, a 75-year-old mother of eight. The faces and stories will rotate, and new ones will be added.

The e-giving site was developed with the help of Information Systems and Technology’s Administrative Systems Department. Details on how units can participate in the site are online at www.urel.berkeley.edu/e-giving.