Pitt to Launch United Way Campaign Oct. 4

Issue Date: 
September 24, 2012

The slogan for the University of Pittsburgh’s 2012 United Way campaign sends the message that small contributions from Pitt’s faculty and staff make a big difference in the lives of community members most in need—struggling families, frail seniors, and at-risk school children.

The campaign will build on the momentum of last year’s United Way fundraising efforts, which were the most successful in the University’s history. It will begin Oct. 4 with a training session and kickoff breakfast for campaign coordinators in the University Club. It will close Nov. 2. This year’s push marks Pitt’s 16th year of participation in the United Way campaign, which is the University’s most comprehensive fundraising effort.

Campaign cochairs are G. Reynolds Clark, Pitt’s vice chancellor for community initiatives and chief of staff for Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg, and Everette James, associate vice chancellor for health policy and planning for the schools of the health sciences and a professor of health policy and management in Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health. Together, they oversee a steering committee comprising 15 other participants who represent a wide range of departments within the University.

“The annual Pitt United Way Campaign is one of the best programs for our campus community to tangibly demonstrate our desire to help those who struggle every day with the basic needs of life,” Clark said.

“Each day, thousands of people wake up and wonder how they are going to make it through the day. They struggle with how to get enough food on the table for their family, how to be able to remain in their own homes—and they want the opportunity for a better life for many of the youth in our region. Many of these people live within sight of the Cathedral of Learning. Through the Pitt United Way Campaign, we provide valuable funding to help meet those needs,” Clark added.

Faculty and staff can make a contribution to the United Way online by logging into my.pitt.edu and clicking the United Way donation button. Contributions may also be made by check or payroll deduction. A minimum of $2 per month is required for payroll deduction. Many departments sponsor special events throughout the campaign to raise money for United Way; these activities include raffles, flea markets, recycling programs for electronics, and snack carts.

Anne Franks, Pitt’s United Way campaign manager and executive director of administrative services in Pitt’s Office of Institutional Advancement, is marking her eighth year of volunteering for the campaign. She said her goal for this year is to increase the already strong participation by faculty and staff on the Pittsburgh campus.

“Last year, we had more than 700 new donors, which shows the commitment of the Pitt community to the people in our region,” said Franks. “Involvement at Pitt has always been at a high level, but every year we seek to further engage more and more faculty and staff to contribute to this worthy cause that has touched all of our lives.”

Pitt’s historic 2011 United Way campaign raised $617,161. Last year marked the second consecutive year that the campaign broke its own fundraising record, surpassing 2010’s fundraising efforts by more than $7,000. In 2011, faculty and staff contributed $577,391, retirees gave $26,715, and $13,053 was garnered from special events held throughout the University.