January 10, 2011

United Way campaign raises more than $2.1 mill

In what was a challenging 2010 campaign due to a still-recovering economy, employees and students of the university and Johns Hopkins Medicine pledged more than $2.1 million to United Way of Central Maryland, falling just 1 percent shy of the overall goal and nearly matching the total raised last year.

More than $260,000 of the total was pledged to the Johns Hopkins Neighborhood Fund, which supports agencies that serve communities in close proximity to Johns Hopkins campuses and have a strong relationship with the university and its employees.

The Neighborhood Fund, now in its fourth year, was the second-largest designated organization of Johns Hopkins donors—behind only United Way of Central Maryland. A committee representing a cross section of Johns Hopkins employees will meet in the near future to allocate the funds.

The overall $2,179,464 raised represents a total for contributions from all university divisions except SAIS, whose donations are reported to the National Capital Area campaign in Washington, D.C., and the Applied Physics Laboratory, which no longer publicly reports its financial goals and results.

Stephanie Reel, chief information officer and vice provost for information technology, and chair of the Johns Hopkins Medicine campaign, said that this year’s campaign was one of the most challenging since many people have been overwhelmed by the needs of their own family, friends and communities.

Despite this, Reel said, many sought to dig deeper than they had in the past.

“In some cases, people even increased their donation pledges as the campaign was drawing to a close,” Reel said. “I am aware of several people who had made a pledge during the early weeks of the campaign and decided to increase their pledge when the campaign was ending. I have never seen that before. It was quite touching.”

Jerry Schnydman, chair of the university’s campaign, said that he applauds the staff and faculty who championed the campaign and promoted the importance of giving.

“When times are tough, the need to boost up others less fortunate than us is even greater. Our people realized that, and the responsibility for Johns Hopkins to assist the surrounding community and the vital work of United Way–affiliated agencies,” said Schnydman, executive assistant to the president and secretary of the board of trustees.

United Way of Central Maryland supports human service agencies in Baltimore City and its five surrounding counties. With donations still filtering in, $516,861 has been pledged to the university’s campaign, which kicked off Oct. 18 and officially ended Dec. 17.

Several of the university’s 15 United Way designated units far exceeded their goal. Of special note in this year’s campaign, the  School of Education exceeded its goal by $4,267 and raised a total of $22,267. The Carey Business School led the way in terms of participation, with a 47 percent rate.

Johns Hopkins Medicine launched its intensive two-week United Way effort in October and raised $1,662,603, exceeding its goal by 3 percent.

Many retirees participated in this year’s campaign through financial donations, totaling more than $10,000, and volunteering their time at the university’s always popular United Way Chili Cook-off in November.

The overall campaign, whose theme is “Give Help Today and Hope for Tomorrow,” focused on funding 1,600 nonprofit organizations in Central Maryland that provide assistance in the basic-need areas.

Johns Hopkins took on a leadership role in this year’s drive, as Edward Miller, dean of the School of Medicine and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Ron Peterson, president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, served as co-chairs of the United Way of Central Maryland campaign.

Although the campaign has officially ended, donations are needed and welcome all year. To make a pledge, or for more information on the campaign, go to www.jhu .edu/unitedway.