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October 8, 2001

EmoryGives nets $70K in first two days

By Eric Rangus,


For the better part of a year, Michelle Smith, director of corporate relations, has revamped, retooled and promoted Emory’s workplace giving program to anyone who would listen.

Finally, after all those months of preparation, on Oct.1, EmoryGives debuted. That day—last Monday—Smith made the rounds. In the morning she met with Emory’s top administrators to brief them on the launch. Later in the day, she accepted a pair of large donations. The next day, she attended a breakfast to honor employees who donated at least $1,000 to the program.

And most every day from now until the program’s close on Dec. 31, Smith will speak to a group or an organization or an office on campus, urging people to support the participating local charities.

Without question, the project has gotten off to a rollicking start. While EmoryGives didn’t officially kick off until this month, information packets were distributed to employees during the last week of September. Once October rolled around, the program had already received $55,000 in donations.

Then on Day One, Smith received an individual donation of $10,000. A $6,000 donation quickly followed. That meant more than $70,000 had been collected in less than 48 hours. “That is just a great way to start off the campaign. I like it,” Smith said.

The Universitywide campaign goal is $415,000, up from last year’s goal of $380,000, and the program’s participation goal is 14 percent—just 2,500 of Emory’s 18,000 employees. Last year, donations totaled $471,842, and Emory employees providing more than $382,000 of that amount.
Smith, though, has her sights set higher.

“I think we can make half a million [dollars], I really do,” she said. The way it can be done, she said, is for everyone to give just a little. Five dollars here and $10 there adds up quickly. “People might think that small gifts don’t matter, but they do,” she said.

Symbolic of EmoryGives’ new look is its new logo. Gone are the thermometer signs from all over campus, and in their places are freshly minted hourglasses—an object chosen with quite a bit of forethought.

The hourglass is symbolic in two ways, Smith said. First, there is the idea that time, like sand, is running out. “There is a sense of urgency,” she said. “There are needs that have to be met.”

Secondly, there is the image of renewal: When the sand reaches the bottom, when the effort is expended, turn it over and begin again.

One of the most notable parts of EmoryGives is its wide coverage. Where there once was one partner, now there are six: Community Health Charities of Georgia, Earth Share of Georgia, the Georgia Black United Fund, Georgia Shares, the United Fund of Covington-Newton County and Emory’s longtime teammate—the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta.

Within the program, employees are able to donate to the Red Cross, one of the most popular charities over the past few weeks, through the United Way. The Salvation Army and the September 11th Fund (dedicated to victims of the terrorist attacks) are United Way participants as well. To give to those specific charities, simply indicate them when donating. Giving to the September 11th Fund requires a one-time payment; all other gifts to all other charities will be by payroll deduction. Money given to the September 11th Fund will go directly to victims of the terrorist attacks—none will go toward administration.

Another new aspect of the EmoryGives is the creation of Emory Angels. The Angels are employees who donate $1,000 or more to any of the six charitable partners, and the breakfast Smith attended on Oct. 2 honored the first 10. John Weiland, chair of the advisory council of the Center for Ethics, was the keynote speaker.


Back to Emory Report October 8, 2001