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A giant check is presented to 7 representatives of charitable federations in the Eastcliff living room.

Representatives from seven local charitable federations accepted "the big check" from Twin Cities campus employee contributions at Eastcliff November 15.

Community Fund Drive tops $1 million in giving

By Gayla Marty

From Brief, November 23, 2005

In a year of disasters that prompted an outpouring of support, faculty and staff on the Twin Cities campus dug deeper in their pockets and, for only the third time ever, topped $1 million in gifts to Minnesota charities.

Volunteers celebrated at Eastcliff November 15 by presenting a giant check totaling $1,043,219.28 to the seven charitable federations--United Arts, United Negro College Fund, Community Health Charities Minnesota, Community Solutions Fund, Minnesota Environmental Fund, Great Twin Cities United Way, and Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless.

Leading units based on participation rate
In percentage points

Top 5 - units with up to 100 employees
Board of Regents, 116.67
* Department of Public Safety and Office of the President, 67.86 (tie)
* Department of Audits, 53.33
* University Services, 45.65
* Office of the General Counsel, 43.59

Top 10 - units with 100+ employees
General College, 64.23
* Humphrey Institute, 58.62
* Auxiliary Services, 57.36
* Extension Service, 51.38
* University Relations/U Foundation/Alumni Relations, 49.72
* School of Nursing, 49.23
* College of Continuing Education, 48.88
* Office of Research, 45.24
* Controller's Office, 43.95
* Office of Human Resources, 43.21

Biggest increase
* School of Nursing, +21.81

Admissions director Wayne Sigler, who cochaired the 2005 drive with athletics director Joel Maturi, served as master of ceremonies and thanked all the volunteers.

The School of Nursing was recognized for the biggest jump in participation, to nearly 50 percent this year, up 21.81 percent from 2004. The average unit participation rate was 27.59 percent.

How did they do it? Gingerbread cut-outs, for one thing, says committee member Monica Colberg. Playing off the fund drive art, the committee of five, led by clinical coordinator Margo Marko, decked out the fifth and sixth floors of Weaver-Densford Hall with gingerbread-looking figures. About a dozen hung in the hallway where a reminder coffee was served mid-month. A couple of figures were mounted on three-foot poles.

"They had clouds of words coming out of their mouths toward the end," Colberg laughs. She says the committee combined fun methods with e-mail reminders and also personal stories of School of Nursing employees who had volunteered on the Gulf Coast after this year's hurricanes.

"It was fun!" says Colberg. "And we're proud."

The Civil Service Committee (CSC) celebrated a civil service staff participation rate of 29 percent--1,149 participants with an average gift of $208. Of the campaign total, they donated 23.31 percent. The CSC thanked all the civil service employees who served as lead and grassroots volunteers.

Though the fund drive officially ran October 1-31, donations are still being accepted. Pledge online or download a paper form at the CFD Web site,

The U's Community Fund drive began in 1931 and today serves hundreds of charities in the seven federations.