January 20, 2004

EmoryGives campaign goes well beyond $425K goal

By Michael Terrazas

EmoryGives, the University’s corporate giving campaign, has raised to date some $486,841 for its charitable partners. More importantly, the number of employees who gave rose to 2,126, or 12.7 percent of the Emory workforce. This continues an upward trend for EmoryGives’ participation; two years ago just 6.9 percent of employees contributed. The number of “Emory Angels”—people who pledged $1,000 or more—also increased from 126 to perhaps 150 by the time final numbers are tallied.

“I am so happy,” said Michelle Smith, director of corporate relations. “After last year’s disappointing finish, this year’s campaign went swimmingly. We increased the participation rate—not as much as I’d hoped, but [12.7 percent] is not that bad. When I started doing EmoryGives, we were struggling to get 800 donors, and now we have more than 2,100.”

Smith attributed the success of this year’s campaign to several factors: the improved economy, excitement over the arrival of new President Jim Wagner, and a better understanding of EmoryGives’ relationships with its multiple charitable partners. Three years ago the campaign expanded to include other charities beyond United Way.

Smith also extended a great deal of credit to this year’s campaign coordinators and to the campaign chair, General Counsel Kent Alexander. She said Alexander’s proven credibility in philanthropy and volunteerism—he helped found Hands On Atlanta in 1989—was a big boost.

“Beyond the great work of Michelle Smith and all the campaign coordinators, I think the terrific results are also a measure of the extraordinary enthusiasm at Emory that comes with a new president, a new vision and a new sense of momentum,” Alexander said. “For me, it was personally rewarding to see firsthand how charitable and ethically engaged so many of our colleagues are. In tight times, a lot of people have really come through for the larger community.”

The total dollars sent to Emory’s charitable partners include: $249,835 to United Way of Metro Atlanta; $125,642 to Community Health Charities of Georgia; $52,989 to Earth Share of Georgia; $35,531 to Georgia Shares; $14,179 to Georgia Black United Fund; and $5,583 to Covington United Fund.

The Nov. 16 Parisian Holiday Shopping Party at Phipps Plaza generated some $3,516 as 703 people paid $5 each for tickets (proceeds from which benefited EmoryGives) giving them access to premium sales at the upscale department store, Smith said.
During the spring, the campaign will turn its attention to providing volunteer opportunities. Last year’s volunteer efforts, such as cleaning up Dearborn Park in Decatur, were successful and might even have brought a few more donations into this year’s campaign.

“Once people volunteer, they are more likely to give because they have some personal connection with the organizations,” Smith said. “They see what the organization does and the impact it has on people.”

Alexander stressed that there is still time for people to contribute and possibly push the campaign total over $500,000. For more information or to make a donation, visit http://emorygives.emory.edu.