'Crank Out the Love' is Theme for 2013 UA Cares
UA Cares kicks off its 2013 campaign on Tuesday with a theme of 'Crank Out the Love' and a goal of raising 20 percent more than last year.
During the 2012 UA Cares – the University's workplace giving campaign – a total of $395,000 was raised. Sheila McGinnis, director of outreach and community partnerships for the Office of Community Relations, would like to see that number increase along with the number of employees who participate.
In addition to finding new donors, McGinnis said she hopes to gain the 20 percent increase in donations by encouraging employees to donate through automatic payroll deductions, which can be set up through the Payroll and Compensation section on the Self Service tab of UAccess.
"We would really love to encourage pledging through payroll deductions," she said. "People tend to give more that way because you don't miss $5 out of your paycheck. So the tendency of human nature is to give more."
UA Cares allows donors to choose where their money goes, whether it goes to University services and programs through the UA Foundation or to Tucson nonprofit organizations or community impact areas through the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona.
"That's what I want to emphasize in this campaign," McGinnis said. "The campaign itself is about choice. People really can give to whatever is close to their heart."
During an Oct. 8 kickoff event at the Student Union Memorial Center's South Ballroom (PDF), members of the campus community will have a chance to learn more about the UA programs and community agencies that benefit from UA Cares donations, McGinnis said.
Melissa Vito, senior vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, is this year's UA Cares chairperson.
So far, McGinnis said about 125 coordinators from various departments on campus have signed up to participate in this year's campaign. The coordinators will help organize and promote various fundraising activities until the campaign ends on Dec. 6.
"The coordinators are the grassroots," McGinnis said. "They're talking to their friends, their co-workers, and they're making the campaign happen."
This year, a few UA departments are coordinating their UA Cares kickoff events with United Way's Days of Caring, a community volunteer event, including the business and administration department at the College of Nursing.
Additionally, the Eller College of Management is putting on its 13th annual college-wide philanthropy day, also known as Eller College Make a Difference Day. The event, which coincides with national Make a Difference Day and United Way's Days of Caring, will be on Oct. 25-26. The United Way is seeing a great increase in participation in Days of Caring volunteering due to the Eller students, McGinnis said.
Past years' fundraising activities for UA Cares have included everything from salsa contests to jewelry sales. (For some of last year's UA Cares fundraising events, check out this photo slideshow.)
"This is when the creativity comes out," McGinnis said. "We raised over $12,000 in special fundraising events last year. That's up $7,000 from the prior year."
She encourages employees to think creatively when planning fundraisers for UA Cares, adding that the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry's annual chili cook-off (PDF) on Oct. 18 should be successful because "food is always a best seller."
A popular choice for many University employees is the Employee Emergency Fund, which provides a one-time monetary disbursement to UA employees who are facing a temporary hardship, such as a sudden illness, family crisis or natural disaster. Since April 2012, about $19,000 has been distributed to help 28 employees, McGinnis said.
Additionally, for the third year in a row an anonymous donor has agreed to match up to $40,000 in donations for the Arizona Assurance Scholars Program, which helps Arizona's low-income students graduate from the UA.
Since UA Cares was founded in 2002, more than $3.3 million dollars has been raised.
For the 2013 campaign, McGinnis said that every donated dollar makes a difference, and with over 15,000 employees, the University has the opportunity to make a bigger impact on its programs and community.
"To help create a culture of giving, this is a wonderful campaign," she said. "We know we are a giving campus, but we need to make an even bigger difference. I'm hoping that everybody steps up this year."