Annual staff, faculty Donation Campaign asking for $2
Published: Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 06:05
The annual Staff and Faculty Donation Campaign this year is aiming to raise $2 million, which is three times more than the amount of donations raised last year.
Monica Taylor, vice president for Development and Alumni Relations, is leading the donation campaign and said each year, the office encourages employees to donate to the university. She said in addition to raising more money, she hopes faculty and staff participation increases to 50 percent.
This year, the campaign encourages faculty and staff to donate through payroll deduction, Taylor said. She said faculty members will have the option to select the amount of money they would like to donate and how often they wish to do so. The donations are then automatically taken out of the staff or faculty member’s paycheck.
“That’s the way most faculty and staff give, they do it through payroll deduction,” Taylor said. “It has been very well-received because of the simplicity of it.”
Donors are able to choose a specific college or field to donate to, or can elect to donate to a general fund, she said. Regardless of which college donors select, Taylor said all gifts are used to improve the university and generally focus on academics.
Taylor said she researched how other universities conduct their donation campaigns and decided to implement changes to improve the university’s efforts. She established a committee system designed to better represent each of the colleges at the university.
“This year we went to a committee structure where we have faculty doing peer-to-peer requests,” Taylor said. “Within each college, we have a different group of people talking to the staff about the campaign.”
A few faculty members are running the campaign, which is being co-chaired by a member of the staff and herself, Taylor said. She said each college has a committee made up of its own professors who can encourage their colleagues to donate to the university.
She said the switch to a committee system allows those in charge of the campaign or serving on the committee to have more personal interactions with other faculty and staff members. According to Taylor, another advantage of the committee system is that it encourages the faculty and staff to donate to the college they teach in. The committees usually give the funds to scholarships, awards and grants, she said.
Taylor said the use of a committee structure also allows information regarding the campaign to spread more quickly because committee members are in contact with coworkers daily.
After establishing committees, campaign leaders notified faculty and staff of their new goals through email messages, as well as through the mail.
William Latham, an economics professor and a member of a donation campaign committee, said he supports the campaign yearly. Latham has been teaching at the university for 41 years and is a longtime donor. He said donations are important because they improve the university for students.
“The things that make our university’s students’ experience a better one, those are often supported by donations,” Latham said.
Fred DeMicco, business professor and ARAMARK chair of the Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management program, said he is also a member of the committee that represents HRIM faculty and staff.
He said those who donate more than $1,000 a year become members of the Delaware Diamonds Society. Members of the DDS receive invitations to events, a personalized brick in the Diamonds Walkway and recognition for contributions, he said.
As a member of the DDS, DeMicco said he wants to improve the university through faculty and staff donations.
“This is a win-win for all involved and also feels good to give back to a university that has shaped us all so positively,” he said of faculty donations. “Our investment helps shape the future success at Delaware.”
Junior Tim Sumereau said he understands why the university is asking for donations, but said he disagrees with the campaign. He said both of his parents are high school teachers and they have never been asked to give money back to their schools.
“If I was a faculty member, it would take a lot of convincing to get me to donate back to the place I work at,” Sumereau said.
Karie Simmons contributed reporting to this article.