A team at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health raised $15,000 in pledges for student scholarships and recently captured the 2011 Perpetual Motion Award for its UA Cares fundraising efforts.
UA Cares is the University of Arizona's annual workplace giving campaign, providing UA employees with the opportunity to support UA services and programs and the broader community.
The entire 2011-2012 UA Cares campaign raised a total of $329,457, almost 20 percent more than last year's campaign, said Holly Altman, director of outreach and community partnerships in the Office of Community Relations.
"We got some late gifts, and it's pretty good," she said.
This year's total includes a dollar-for-dollar matching grant for donations to Arizona Assurance, she said. The Arizona Assurance donation total was $20,752, bringing the total with the match to $41,504. The match was not in place last year.
The one-of-a-kind award was created by Tucson artist Ned Schaper (also known as Mat Bevel) of the Mat Bevel Institute Museum of Kinetic Art. Made entirely from found objects – including a clock, a license plate, a golf cart and clubs, a trophy and UA logo products – the award features a butterfly that actually flaps its wings. The traveling trophy was first won in 2009 by the UA Libraries. Next year, the trophy will move to whichever unit on campus raises the most money during UA Cares.
Donna Knight, assistant director of development, led the charge for the College of Public Health and recruited several volunteers from across the college with a goal to increase participation during the 2011 campaign season.
"The College of Public Health truly deserves the campaign’s highest honor," Altman said. "They just did a fabulous job. They were really organized."
The team's coordinators – Katie Sprague, Donna Knight, Judith Gray, Suzanna Trejo, Laura Brown, Sharon VanSkiver, Griselda Martinez, Alayna Voutsas, Mary Contreras, Sonia Romero, Rebecca Ruiz and Jackie Leon – demonstrated teamwork, strategic planning and follow through, she said, with results to prove it: Participation increased from 13 percent in 2010 to about 22 percent in 2011, with employee pledges reaching nearly $15,000 for the unit, Altman said.
"Donna Knight and her team have done a fantastic job every year, and this year they had it all," she said.
Knight said the team met at the beginning of the UA Cares campaign and discussed whether to focus on increasing dollars pledged or increasing participation. They decided participation was the way to go.
"We just did various things to build excitement around UA Cares and get the word out," she said.
That included a kickoff party on the college's third-floor patio, featuring door prizes, a DJ, a place for people to turn in their pledge forms and a computer set up for people to go online and make their pledges, she said.
The door prizes included pottery made by a staff member, and the DJ was the son of a staffer.
Each team member gave reminders throughout the campaign and distributed stickers that said "Thanks a MILLION" along with 100 Grand candy bars.
"It was a lot of teamwork, and I couldn't have done it without them," Knight said.
One of the coordinators also donated a stuffed Wilbur Wildcat as an incentive. The department or division with the highest participation gets to keep Wilbur for a year, and he, too, will travel each year, but only within the college. Knight said she is having a medal made to put around Wilbur's neck, designating him as a UA Cares award.
UA Cares was created in 2002 as a "combined campaign" in which employees may give to any University programs and services through the UA Foundation or to any nonprofit organizations or designated "community impact areas" through the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona.
Since its inception, University employees have donated more than $3.3 million to support a wealth of educational programs at the UA and nonprofit programs addressing the community’s greatest needs.
In addition, many departments and University areas conduct special events to raise contributions and awareness of particular charitable programs, including student scholarship funds.