- $3 million to date for the 2021-22 fiscal year
- Includes Giving Month total of $240,000-plus
- “Grati-Tuesdays” highlight faculty, staff donors
Employee giving at UC Davis is on the upswing, generating more than $3 million so far this fiscal year — up from some $1.7 million at the end of June 2021.
That generosity includes enthusiastic participation during April’s Employee Giving Month, when nearly 2,000 faculty and staff across UC Davis and UC Davis Health donated more than $240,000.
Bill Garrity, deputy university librarian and chief operating officer of the UC Davis Library, and co-chair of the Employee Giving Committee, said he is thrilled to see colleagues stepping up to robustly support UC Davis both during Employee Giving Month and throughout the year.
“We are so pleased with these results,” he said. “It’s beautiful to see so many of us support the work of our university as well as critical services for our students and co-workers.”
Much of the increase over 2021 thus far is due to nearly a dozen large gifts from faculty and staff totaling more than $1 million.
The giving wave
Giving Month includes Give Day, UC Davis’ biggest fundraising event. This year’s Give Day (April 22-23) brought in $4.1 million, shattering last year’s record of $3.4 million. Employees were part of that wave, donating more than $135,000 and responding eagerly to Give Day challenge gifts.
The boards of the Emeriti and Retirees associations issued an $18,900 challenge in support of Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center programs addressing student housing insecurity and homelessness. Their challenge drew gifts totaling $38,865.
And the Employee Giving Committee issued a $5,000 challenge that raised $37,380. Although this challenge invited gifts to any program at UC Davis or UC Davis Health, the committee encouraged support for Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center, for students, and the Staff Emergency Fund, which offers quick cash awards to employees facing sudden, unforeseeable expenses.
I deeply believe in the work this campus does.” — Bill Garrity, deputy university librarian and chief operating officer of the UC Davis Library, and co-chair of the Employee Giving Committee
Said Garrity: “What I do in my job supports our students, faculty and researchers, but there are things that are very important to me — like helping staff with difficult family or personal situations — and employee giving lets me do that directly.”
Spreading the message
As the year’s biggest campaign for employee giving, Employee Giving Month isn’t just about raising money — it’s also about raising awareness of the value of philanthropy to UC Davis. Many employees took the opportunity to spread that message on Give Day, held in conjunction with Picnic Day.
Anna Temple, head coach of UC Davis women’s golf and a member of the Employee Giving Committee, volunteered at a Give Day information stand and had great fun talking with students about giving.
“So many came up to our table to ask what we were doing,” Temple said. “When we shared with them what Give Day is about and all the challenge gifts out there, they lit up knowing that employees care about them and our efforts to help impact their experiences. That was really cool!”
Seeing the results
Employee Giving Month also means giving thanks, which, for five donors selected at random meant being the focus of attention on “Grati-Tuesdays.” The donors received gift bags containing Give Day T-shirts and other UC Davis swag, and "thank-you" posts on college, school or other UC Davis-affiliated LinkedIn accounts. The recognition spread farther in social media posts like this one on Twitter, from Jenni Dingeldein, director of development for philanthropy programs, who runs the Employee Giving Program:
Grateful for colleagues like Jay Rosenheim ‘83 @ucdavis @ucdavisCAES! This #GratiTuesday, we get to highlight his commitment to the annual fund. As an alum and distinguished professor, Jay knows firsthand what a difference funding can make for our students and programs! #ucdavis pic.twitter.com/mXOGaNmNlf— Jenni Dingeldein (@jenniferkali) April 20, 2022
All events during Employee Giving Month emphasize the spirit of giving rather than the size of donations.
“The act of giving is the key,” coach Temple said. “We may not always be giving the biggest gifts, but it’s the idea that our community on this campus means something and has an impact.”
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 phone, 530-754-0482.