OXFORD, Miss. – Inspired by a five-consecutive-year increase in the number of pledges received, the University of Mississippi has bumped up the efforts and goals of its annual United Way campaign.
The university has set a campaign goal of raising at least $165,000 of the United Way’s $500,000 communitywide goal. The goal was set by faculty and staff members of the Ole Miss United Way Steering Committee, which is responsible for the campus fundraising effort.
“Last year, we raised $164,758, which was $4,758 more than our goal of $160,000,” said Lucile McCook, biology lecturer and campus committee co-chair. “The committee members and I believe that with better promotion of the campaign and more fundraising events, we can more than reach this year’s goal as well.”
Approximately 500 UM employees participated in last year’s campaign. A campaign comparison placed UM fifth in the number of Leadership donors (for gifts of $500 or more) among SEC schools in 2011. With 104 donors, the university was bested only by the University of Florida (655), University of Missouri (258), University of Alabama (196) and Texas A&M University (133).
Scheduled fundraising events include roadblocks at all campus entrances and the sale of reserved parking spaces during home football games.
“Working parking for the football game is a great fundraiser for us,” McCook said. “We have already raised about $3,000 this season from the parking alone.”
Four 30-second promotional videos featuring UM administrators, faculty and staff calling for United Way support have also been made and will air on various Web pages.
Committee members encourage university employees to participate in Fair Share, Associate or Leadership giving plans. Fair Share givers contribute one hour’s wages each month to the United Way. Associate givers donate $250 to $499. Leadership givers contribute at least $500.
“More volunteers are going to make personal contact with faculty and staff members during the campaign,” said Thelma Curry, University Police Department officer and campus committee co-chair. “Donations of any and all sizes are welcome and extremely appreciated in this critical economic climate.”
Ninety-nine percent of the money raised for United Way stays in Lafayette County to help fund 16 or more local charities, including the Pantry, Interfaith Compassion Ministry, American Red Cross, Family Crisis Services, Meals on Wheels, Boys & Girls Clubs, Leap Frog, Salvation Army, Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of America.
All UM employees should receive pledge cards, allowing them to pay gifts in full or in installments through payroll deduction. Other fundraising efforts scheduled include intradepartmental competitions and student organization-led events.
“We now have a student-run organization, Rebels for United Way,” McCook said. “Students can participate and get more information by contacting Ryan Upshaw.” Upshaw’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, contact McCook at 662-915-5488 or email@example.com, or Curry at 662-915-7869 or firstname.lastname@example.org.