Employee Giving Month Returns, Promotes Helping Peers in Need

Last year, Employee Giving Month — a fundraising effort encouraging employees to donate to UC Davis and UC Davis Health programs they care about — was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. This year, the program is back, with an emphasis on raising money for a fund that helps staff members in urgent need.

The Staff Emergency Fund, established last fall, was in such demand — providing more than $30,000 in assistance to nearly 40 employees — that it quickly needed replenishment. It will be ready for new applicants as soon as additional funds are raised.


Employee Giving Month runs through the entire month of April. More information is available on the Give Day website, and challenges are listed on a separate page.

“As always during Employee Giving Month, we hope our fellow staff members will give to any campus programs and services that are meaningful to them,” said Michelle Poesy, senior director of the Annual and Special Gifts Program in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, or DEVAR, which manages Employee Giving Month. “But given that so many employees are feeling the impacts of the pandemic, we’re giving special attention to a fund designed to offer them immediate help.”

The Staff Emergency Fund provides quick, no-strings cash awards of up to $1,000 for urgent needs such as housing, food, utilities, wildfire evacuation or medical emergencies.

For Jennifer Sang, executive assistant dean with the College of Biological Sciences, supporting the Staff Emergency Fund is a no-brainer.

“If ever there was a time to pay kindness forward, it’s now,” Sang said. “Supporting this fund makes me feel human. Our jobs are tough; the current situation is tough. It feels really good to be able to help a fellow employee.”

‘Challenges’ include matching gifts

This year, it’s easier than ever to participate in Employee Giving Month as part of Give Day. Early giving has already begun for the event, which takes place Friday-Saturday, April 16-17. Employee Giving now has its own page on the Give Day site, which heightens attention and access, and also reinforces a key point: Every gift makes a difference.

“It’s good to know that you can give any amount to the fund, and it’s really going towards a collective effort,” said Sang. “Every little bit makes an impact.”

And as always on Give Day, challenge gifts — gifts of at least $2,500 put forth by community donors — are “unlocked” when other gifts come in (a specified number for each challenge). For example, Poesy is teaming with members of the Employee Giving Advisory Committee to offer an Employee Giving challenge to be unlocked by 200 gifts to any UC Davis or UC Davis Health program.

In another employee-fueled challenge, the UC Davis Emeriti Association and the Retirees Association have partnered to offer a $7,500 challenge to benefit the Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center.

These and other challenge gifts may be found by clicking “challenges” in the top right navigation bar on the Give Day homepage.

Employee Giving Month runs through Friday, April 30. You can make a gift or learn more about employee giving on the Give Day website.

Media Resources

Joan Fischer is a senior writer for the Annual and Special Gifts Program in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, and can be reached by email or at 530-754-0482.

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