Restoring the Volunteer Role in Charitable Giving

Penn's faculty and staff are deeply involved in our communities as volunteers and as part of our work. This involvement ranges from workplace mentoring to running health clinics to tutoring to community clean up to research on pressing social problems. In addition, there is a deeply rooted tradition of charitable giving and Penn faculty and staff clearly want a Penn'sWay charitable campaign that is convenient and broadly inclusive of the widest range of charitable organizations.

To these ends and in response to numerous suggestions raised at University Council, the University will move forward with a Combined Charitable campaign designed to be both user/donor friendly and provide the broadest possible range of choices for charitable giving. The campaign will also reinstitute a strong volunteer component to maximize participation across all of Penn's schools and administrative units. This Combined Campaign is in keeping with the Referendum Ballot of March 1, 1991, when the community voted in favor of: "A Combined (or partnership) Campaign in which all employee contributions are solicited and distributed through any approved federation or umbrella organization."

The University will develop a form in triplicate (envelope size) which will include the donor's name, SS#, agency or agencies of choice, pledge amount and deduction method. Copies will be distributed to the umbrella or "Partner" organizations. These organizations will process the pledge information and supply the University with the necessary payroll deduction information. They will also provide the University a summary report at the conclusion of the campaign. The Comptroller's office will manage the payroll deductions related to individual donations.

Each School and Center Dean or Director will select a member(s) of his or her staff to head the volunteer portion of the campaign. This individual will be the point person for questions regarding the campaign as well as for initiating follow-up communication with his or her School/Center faculty and staff. One individual in the Comptroller's Office will be responsible for providing a training session and examples of communications to all volunteers.

Prior to the volunteer effort, the Deans, Directors and Senior Business Officers of each School/Center will be required to 'kick off' the campaign with an initial letter or e-mail to their entire constituencies. This will serve as an example to the University community of their commitment towards achieving the goals of increased charitable donations to the Penn's Way Charitable Workplace Campaign.

A primary goal of this reorganization of charitable giving is to increase the level of giving to the many organizations in our communities that provide essential services. For this reason, the reorganization will be evaluated after a period of two years. One of the major criteria will be whether more money was raised for distribution to charitable agencies.

--Carol R. Scheman,Vice President for Government, Community, and Public Affairs

--John Fry, Executive Vice President

Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 33, May 18/25, 1999