A Rising Tide of Employee Giving

3 people pose during tour of the ASUCD Pantry
Employee donors Ernest Hoftyzer and Anna Temple flank student employee Abigail Nonnarath at the ASUCD Pantry during a Philanthropy Spotlight Tour last November. The tour followed the Employee Giving Committee’s collection effort that yielded more than 1,000 pounds of food, toiletries and other essentials for The Pantry. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Quick Summary

  • $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 headshot
Bill Garrity

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

Group of employee donors, posing at Bee Haven
Sweet tour during Employee Giving Month! Donors from the Office of Development and Alumni Relations toured the UC Davis Bee Haven on April 27. Pictured, from left: Standing — Sarah Harlan, Grace DeMasi, ToShawne Williams, Carl Archut, Daniella Hanson and Jessie De La Trinidad. Middle row — Gretta Kalaskar, Jennifer Prahl, Carly Gliva and Korinne Labourdette. Front row — Kait Sousa, Jenni Dingeldein, Cari DuBois-Wright and Nate Miller. Christine Casey, academic program officer in the Department of Entomology and Nematology, led the tour and took the photo.

Giving thanks

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:

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.

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