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United Way Campaign Brings in $160,000

Community Service Center reaps $70,000

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The Community Service Center has a base of over 3,000 volunteers, including those who participate in the First Year Student Outreach Project, which brings incoming freshmen to campus early to spend three days volunteering throughout greater Boston. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

Boston University staff and faculty gave $160,547 to the University’s 2010 United Way campaign, nearly $70,000 of it directed straight to BU’s Community Service Center.

“Each year I’m impressed with the financial support pledged by the faculty and staff,” says BU’s United Way campaign chair Peter Fiedler (COM’77), vice president for administrative services. “This year we saw substantial backing for the outstanding work of the Boston University Community Service Center. As campaign chair, I couldn’t ask for more from my colleagues and extend my appreciation for their generosity.”

Sammantha Kramer, United Way campaign treasurer and a manager of operations in Human Resources, says that last year was the first year people could donate through the United Way to the Community Service Center (CSC), and that effort raised $12,000. This year, however, a “direct pass through” to the CSC was used, a method whereby the United Way waives its customary administrative fees, and monies given to the CSC increased almost sixfold.

“We tried to find a way to get people more excited,” says Kramer. “We got the United Way to serve as a pass through for us, and the response was amazing.”

Kramer said this year’s total was down a bit from last year’s, a dip she attributes to a move two years ago that shortened the campaign from 12 to 6 weeks and reduced the number of email solicitations. In 2008, she says, 677 people contributed $181,142, and in 2009, 638 donors gave $167,317. In 2010, there were 558 donors.

The CSC is home to 13 student-run service programs, including Children’s Theater, Project Hope, and Making Music. Last year, it had a base of over 3,000 volunteers, who contributed over 90,000 hours of service.

CSC director Lindsey P. Wyld Kotowicz (SED’07) says the United Way campaign money will help run all of the center’s programs. “The money will provide more opportunities for students to get involved,” says Kotowicz. “It will be used as scholarships for students who want to participate in the First Year Student Outreach Project or Alternative Spring Break, and it will help us put together more one-time events. All of these programs keep growing every year, and many students don’t have the money to pay out of pocket. The United Way money will let them do that.”

Art Jahnke can be reached at jahnke@bu.edu.

3 Comments

3 Comments on United Way Campaign Brings in $160,000

  • Anonymous on 01.31.2011 at 9:41 am

    Donate directly

    I’m glad the CSC received this money, and very pleased that the United Way didn’t take its usual bite.

    In other instances, however, one should consider donating directly to charities so they get 100% of the donation. Why pay the United Way overhead if you already know where you want your money to go?

    http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=4643

    • Project Mailbox on 03.08.2012 at 4:07 pm

      That’s one of the reasons why I started Project Mailbox which doesn’t take a cut at all of the money raised. Most of the charities we raise money for are charities that a student or students feel very passionate about. This passion helps us know that the money we send goes to the right place. http://www.bu.edu/today/2012/project-mailbox/ if you’re curious to learn more.

  • Benefit of UW on 01.31.2011 at 2:48 pm

    to address the comment above, the benefit of giving to the united way is that the moneys are monitored regularly to ensure that donations are being used to directly impact people. when you give directly to an agency, there is usually not a check and balance set up to ensure that money isnt going towards overhead. United Way takes a small processing fee, (nationally I believe it to be less than 10-12%) whereas giving directly to an agency all of your donation may go to fund someone’s overhead, salary, etc.

    In addition, the benefit of giving to the United Way is that your dollar has a chance to influence more people in a variety of different ways and causes, based on where the greatest need for a service is; in effect getting the most bang for your buck. if i give to a charity i personally like the idea of being able to spread my gift out among many charities instead of just helping the people in one.

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