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Charitable Campaign benefits Berkeley

| 12 November 2003

With the economy still in stutter-step mode, campus and community programs continue to feel the pinch. One way faculty and staff can help to make a difference is by donating to any campus program or local or national charity through the annual Campus Charitable Campaign.

The 2003 Charitable Campaign will run through Friday, Dec. 5. This year, for the first time, campus employees can pledge online at a secure site supported by United Way of the Bay Area (UWBA). The e-Way online-giving website will enable campus organizers to improve both donor access and the efficiency and effectiveness of pledge processing.

Faculty and staff who give through the campus’s Charitable Campaign can choose any charity they wish. One advantage to employees who give through the campaign, according to its organizers, is that 100 percent of their donation will go to the designated organization. Thanks to a special UC Berkeley arrangement, no administrative costs will be deducted from faculty and staff gifts. Available payment options include monthly payroll deduction, credit-card payment, or check.

Campus employees can earmark any program, from individual academic departments to campus libraries and museums, or from Cal Corps to Student Musical Activities. Participants can select charitable causes outside of the university as well.

The Charitable Campaign’s organizers acknowledge that employees may be leery about the United Way of the Bay Area. The organization has been in the news regarding the closure of PipeVine, Inc., a separate 501(c)(3) it established to process donations to the agency, other nonprofit organizations, and private businesses. To the regret of many of PipeVine’s customers, PipeVine did not meet its obligation to distribute funds and ceased operations in June 2003.

“The e-Way system is part of United Way’s strategy to respond to any remaining issues related to PipeVine,” says Anne Wilson, CEO of United Way Bay Area. “ By bringing the pledge processing internal to UWBA, we can ensure the timely distribution of donations to the community.”

Campus programs in need
In his letter to staff announcing this year’s Charitable Campaign, Chancellor Robert Berdahl underscored that many campus programs need assistance, mentioning in particular the School/University Partnership Program, an innovative outreach program targeting K-12 students that has endured severe budget cuts over recent years.

“The reality is that the some outreach programs have been cut back to zero funding for this year and others have been decreased by 50 percent,” says Gail Kaufman, director of the School/University Partnership Program. “The resources that have come in through the Charitable Campaign have enabled us to keep our promise to the school districts and the schools we’re in partnership with.”

Kaufman describes the program’s focus as “building a college-going culture in schools.” To that end, the program develops college resource centers, facilitates UC Berkeley undergraduates’ work as tutors and mentors in partner schools, and provides training to teachers and counselors in how to raise expectations for students and their families so that college-going becomes the norm.

The 2002 Charitable Campaign generated $175,476, representing an 18-percent increase over the previous year. Donations to the School/University Partnership were up 46 percent over 2001-2002, totaling $41,276. The United Way Community Impact Fund increased by 37 percent. Contributions to other nonprofit groups remained about the same.

To pledge to the Charitable Campaign, visit berkeley.edu/charitable/.

Employees without Internet access who would like hardcopy pledge forms should contact Elisabeth Gordon at 642-1574.