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United Way Campaign Total Jumps 15 Percent

More than 850 Northwestern University staff, faculty and retirees donate and pledge

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March 7, 2013 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University ended its 2012 United Way campaign on a high note by raising a recording-breaking total of $330,182 in pledges and contributions -- a nearly 15 percent increase over last year. More than 850 of Northwestern’s faculty and staff pledged or contributed a total of $290,912 to the 2012 campaign.

An “open” campaign in which faculty and staff can direct their giving to the charity of their choice, the annual United Way campaign brings in a wide range of donations.

”The extra efforts by all involved helped to set a new campaign record,” said Brian S. Peters, assistant vice president for University Services. He attributed the record win to an even more successful than usual Web-based silent auction and greater numbers of “campaign leaders” (individuals who donate more than $1,000 each). The silent auction -- which offered overnight hotel stays, autographed sports memorabilia, computers and other prizes -- raised nearly $22,000 ($6,000 more than last year). The number of campaign leaders rose to 96 from 89.

In addition, Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation (NMFF), contributed service faculty/emeritus faculty, local retirees and Garrett Seminary employees pledged or contributed a combined total of $17,490.

As it does each year, offices or departments with the top campaign participation rate were rewarded with prizes.

• The $1,500 first prize went to the Offices of (Controller I) Student Accounts and Student Loans for 100 percent participation. The group, which has consecutively won first prize since the 2005 campaign, is donating most of the money to AmeriCares to help Hurricane Sandy victims. “We love to win,” said campaign manager Sabrina Flowers, assistant director of Student Accounts.

• The $1,000 second place prize went to the Medical School Institute for Healthcare Studies (IHS) with 64 percent participation. Campaign co-coordinators Rochelle Tapping and Kristina Nelson, research project managers at Feinberg School of Medicine, organized fundraising events that included a beer tasting and a raffle to win home-brewed beer and a December bake sale. A tiny portion of the award money will be used to purchase cupcakes for HIS and General Internal Medicine staff donors and the rest will be donated to the United Way.

• The $750 third place award went to Facilities Management Design and Construction Planning for 41 percent participation. Campaign manager Steve Kindrick, manager of human resources, says his group plans to use the award money for employee recognition throughout the year.

• The $500 fourth place prize went to University Relations for 38 percent participation. Campaign manager and University Relations vice president Alan K. Cubbage said his department will donate the prize money to Family Matters, a community-based group working with families in Chicago’s North of Howard neighborhood and to Friends of the Forest Preserves, a group that raises funds for physical improvements, including better trails and improved nature centers.

• A $250 “most improved” award went to Northwestern University Information Technology (NUIT), which increased its participation from 10.53 percent last year to 28 percent this year. For the first time, NUIT asked volunteers to serve as United Way leaders for their IT units to bring the campaign “closer to the desk for all of us,” said Suzanne Auburn, executive assistant in the Office of Vice President.“ Auburn says NUIT will use its $250 award to kick off the United Way campaign next year.