Faculty, staff launch charity campaign, hope to raise $750,000
Virginia institutions aim to support 1,300 philanthropies as part of the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign
The University Monday launched its annual drive to raise money for the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign, a collective effort of Virginia public employees that aims to raise money for more than 1,300 charities worldwide.
Last year University faculty and staff raised $982,143, a record for the campaign. This year the campaign is shooting for $750,000.
“We are cautiously optimistic [about reaching that target],” campaign spokesperson Jim Fitzgerald said.
The University last year was the top contributor in Virginia. Sixty-five of the University’s departments last year boasted 100 percent participation rates, with 3,957 donors averaging about $250 each.
The campaign looks to offer a safe way for individuals to donate without fears that their money will be used to fund non-charitable costs, Fitzgerald said.
“No charity can have an administrative fee of over 25 percent,” he said. The campaign’s website offers a breakdown of administrative expenses at each charity, allowing donors to give to charities where their donations will do the most good.
The campaign runs from Oct. 1 to Dec. 14 to give the administrative office time to process the donations for the year’s end.
Individuals donating money through the campaign can either specify a particular charity they want their money to go to or donate a lump sum. The charities that receive the highest proportion of designated gifts will also receive the highest proportion of undesignated gifts, Fitzgerald said.
Local charities such as the Charlottesville Free Clinic and the Albemarle County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have been among the top 10 recipients of donations statewide.
An earlier version of this article identified the campaign as faculty-led but staff members are also able to participate.