November 9, 2005
Source: University of Toronto:
United Way campaign taps into spirit of giving
Raffle, silent auction among fundraising activities planned on all three campuses
by Audrey Fong
As the academic fall term gathers steam, the U of T staff and faculty campaign for the United Way aims to do the same.
Faculty and staff who return their pledge forms for U of Tís United Way campaign by Nov. 18 are eligible to win a pair of tickets to hear Isabel Bayrakdarian, U of T alumna and world-renowned soprano, in a performance at Convocation Hall Nov. 25.
The ticket draw is only one of the many activities being held on all three U of T campuses in support of United Way. This yearís events include a raffle hosted by the Centre of Criminology, with tickets available from the centre through Nov. 30, and an online silent auction sponsored by UTM. Raffle prizes include a leather U of T portfolio, Hart House theatre tickets and unique chocolate treats hand-moulded by PhD student Olena Kobzar, who is also a professional chocolate and cake maker. The UTM silent auction features two 2005-06 Theatre Erindale season passes, 16-year-old Italian wine and a gourmet dinner at Lislehurst, the principalís residence.
In 2004, U of Tís campaign successfully raised $817,000 and the number of donors grew. This year canvassers are hoping to better last yearís 17 per cent participation rate; their aim is at least 25 per cent or better. A healthier rate of participation will result in increased dollars, says U of T employee campaign co-chair Molly Yeomans, making it more likely U of T will meet the goal of raising a million dollars for the United Way and its member agencies.
Pledges collected at the St. George and Scarborough campuses will go to the United Way of Greater Toronto. Donations will assist organizations such as FoodShare Toronto, Youth Assisting Youth, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto and Malvern Family Resource Centre. U of T at Mississauga runs a separate campaign and funds donated by UTM staff and faculty members will be directed to the United Way of Peel Region. UTM staff and faculty have already worked with the United Way of Peel and other partners to raise $100,000 at the annual Chef's Challenge.
All U of T staff and faculty members receive a personally addressed package with a United Way pledge form, return envelope and information about the United Way. Volunteer canvassers in each department will be available to answer any questions about the program.
U of T employees can donate to United Way through payroll deduction, credit card, cheque or securities. Donations by payroll deduction are not automatically renewed annually: a new form must be completed and signed by the donor.
Canvassers will also ask colleagues to make a decision about supporting the United Way or any charitable organization of choice (charity registration number must be provided) and will request the return of a sealed donation envelope -- regardless of whether or not a donation has been made. By returning an envelope -- with or without a donation -- the employee is telling the canvasser that thereís no need to for further inquiries about donations. Envelopes may also be returned to the United Way via U of T campus mail.
For more information on the 2005-06 U of T staff and faculty campaign for the United Way of Greater Toronto, visit http://www.unitedwaytoronto.com or contact United Way employee co-chairs Susan Elliott and Molly Yeomans, firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-946-0245. Information about the UTM campaign is available from campaign co-chair Andrew Nicholson, 905-828-3886, email@example.com.