Annual charitable campaign looks for wider participation

 After raising more than $375,000 last year, the 2008 annual State Employee Charitable Campaign has begun with the dual goals of raising more than $395,000 this year and attracting wider participation on campus.

Donations to the campaign, which began in October and runs through Dec. 19, may be made through one-time payments or through direct monthly deposits from paychecks. Donors may designate the charities they wish to support, both in the North Texas region and throughout the state.

  Dr. Gordon Green

More than 500 charitable organizations benefit from the donations of state employees.

SECC organizers choose approved charities by weighing several factors: The charity must be recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a nonprofit organization, be audited annually, provide direct or indirect health and human services, and spend no more than 25 percent of funds raised on administration and fundraising, with a few exceptions.

“I hope everyone will look at the diverse list of agencies. Chances are, the SECC benefits you or someone you know and love,” said Dr. Gordon Green, professor of family and community medicine, and chair of the UT Southwestern effort.  “We hope
UT Southwestern employees will choose to care. We know that times are tough this year, but the needs are greater than ever. We need everyone to participate.”

Among the many organizations that benefit from the drive are: Carter BloodCare, which holds blood drives on campus several times a year and provides more than 95 percent of all the blood transfused in North Texas; North Texas Food Bank, which provides food and grocery products to more than 400 human-service organizations that feed hungry children and adults in 13 area counties; and both Southwestern Medical Foundation and St. Paul Medical Foundation.

“This campaign is important because people can designate the charities that they want to benefit,” said Dr. Joan Reisch, professor of clinical sciences and UT Southwestern representative on the Local Employee Committee, which considers requests by charities for consideration and inclusion. “I tend to go toward things that are in our own geographic area, but there are people who make donations to charities in other areas.

“I also like the idea that there are criteria for the charities. If someone looks at that list of organizations we provide assistance to, then I’m certain they can find something that’s dear to their heart that they can contribute to. If you think about it, the cost of a lunch a month can help people who really need the help.

“Any charitable campaign has big givers and small givers, and they’re all important to achieving the overall goal. Last year we had 111 people on our campus who gave $1,000 or more, a group we call leadership givers. But not everyone can do that, so we were glad to see that about 30 percent of the people on campus contributed in some way.”

Administrative information may be found at public/files/File/pdfs/PRESS_Dallas_SECC08.pdf. Information on the charities is available at www.secc

Donation forms are also available by signing on to the iAim system and going to the Charity prompt on the left side of the page or by requesting a hard-copy form via e-mail from SECC-Campaign in the GroupWise system.