United Way raises $82,824

Feb 09, 2002, Vol . 23, No. 3
By Marianne Meadahl

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SFU's United Way campaign is wrapping up after taking some new twists and turns in an effort to raise giving levels and sign up donors to continuous giving.

In total, the university-wide campaign raised $82,824. Of that amount, $76,300 is from pledges while another $6,500 was raised through various events, including the book, bake and yard sales. Last year the campaign raised about $90,000.

Campaign chair Rob Cameron says the most notable success of the campaign was that a strong core of supporters - who pledged $52,280 - signed up to the campaign's United Way 21 concept. Under the plan, donors were encouraged to contribute through a new, continuous giving option of seven, 14 or 21 minutes - or roughly one per cent of salary. Many donors substantially increased their contributions this year and as a continuing commitment, notes Cameron.

One weakness of the campaign was that it was focused too much on individual outreach to past donors. "By eschewing the blanket pledge card in every mailbox, we missed a considerable number of small donations that do add up," Cameron concedes.

This year, SFU was not able to continue designated giving option as a payroll option, which allows donors to target specific charitable agencies. "This created difficulties for those who found payroll deduction a convenient way to channel donations to favourite charities," says Cameron.

Overall, the campaign accomplished much of what organizers set out to do, especially in a year of tragedy and turmoil that motivated people to give to other causes.

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