General information about the Benevolent Fund.
The Benevolent Fund is UAB's own system of supporting charitable, service, and health agencies by providing a mechanism for UAB employees to help those in need in the Birmingham area. Since its inception in 1984, the fund has contributed millions of dollars to independent charitable agencies, to the Community Health Charities (formerly the National Voluntary Health Agencies), to the United Way, and to our own UAB employees through the Employee Emergency Assistance Program. Decisions regarding the solicitation and distribution of funds are made by a council of UAB employees who are nominated and chosen by the Benevolent Fund Executive Board to serve two-year renewable terms or appointed by UAB administration to serve indefinitely.
+ - Why should I make a pledge to the Benevolent Fund in years when my insurance, parking, taxes, and so forth are increasing? Click to collapse
Charitable giving is a philosophy, an acknowledgement of the human commitment to help others. Everyone experiences increases in the cost of living. Still, we work for a growing, prosperous institution. We are luckier than many. We have jobs. We have steady incomes. We have a good benefits package. There are many who would change places with us. The United Way and Community Health Charity groups we give our money to have an extraordinary impact in the communities all of us live in around Birmingham. From the American Red Cross in times of disaster, to the research done by the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association, to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, to Habitat for Humanity and Big Brothers Big Sisters, these and the other 150+ groups that receive funding from the UAB Benevolent Fund, without them the face of Birmingham would be completely different with a multitude of needs not being addressed. And this is before we consider the $150,000 dollars given back to UAB employees in times of crisis as well. Every gift is very important, there is never a gift that is too small. As Alabama's largest employer when we combine our gifts together, we have a very powerful impact!!!
+ - If my spouse contributes to United Way or other fundraising drives at his or her place of employment, why should I contribute to UAB's Benevolent Fund? Click to collapse
UAB, as a corporate entity, is proud of its employees' record of giving to the community. It is important that other organizations in the Birmingham area see UAB setting an excellent example of responding to the needs of the community. As an institution, UAB must stand as a participant in community affairs. Every employee is encouraged to participate as an individual. Your spouse is giving based on his or her individual salary, and we are asking that you do the same, as an individual, by making a contribution based on your salary.
UAB is a part of the Birmingham community, and it is in UAB's interest to help the area grow and prosper. UAB receives a great deal of support from the community and pays back some of that support through its charitable giving program. UAB, as an institution, has a deep commitment to be a "good neighbor." The UAB Faculty and Staff Benevolent Fund was established to provide UAB employees the opportunity to channel their combined resources into a single, annual fundraising campaign that would provide a multitude of services through one gift. It is a way to pool the contributions of thousands of employees to make a real difference by supporting worthy charitable, service, and health agencies, as well as its own employees in times of need.
As a public, state-supported, non-profit institution, the University of Alabama at Birmingham cannot legally establish a pool of "corporate dollars" from which to make donations to charitable organizations. Like the agencies and individuals who benefit from the fund, the university depends on you as an employee to share in the institution's commitment to charitable giving.
+ - How do I make suggestions or ask questions about the Benevolent Fund's operations? Click to collapse
The UAB Benevolent Fund is run by a council of employees and welcomes your suggestions and inquiries. Please make suggestions to or ask questions of any council member or specifically to one of the council members representing your area of the university. The names of council members are available at this web site at council.
The Benevolent Fund is managed by UAB employees. Thirty to sixty voting members representing all areas of the university comprise the council. These areas include UAB Hospital/Health System, Academic Programs, Health Services Foundation, Central Administration, Eye Foundation Hospital, UAB Highlands, and VIVA Health. In addition there is a treasurer and secretary appointed by the President. In 2008 the Council added two more non-voting members, a specialist in Leadership giving as well as public relations. The council is divided into standing committees: the Agency Review Committee, the By-Laws Committee, the Campaign Committee, the Employee Emergency Assistance Committee, and the Awareness Committee. Ad hoc committees are formed as necessary to carry out the activities of the council. The operating guidelines to which the council adheres are defined in the UAB Faculty and Staff Benevolent Fund Bylaws.
Yes. A current copy of the Bylaws is available on the Web site. A printed copy is also available at the Benevolent Fund office in the Administration Building, room B-84 during business hours.
The council is self perpetuating. Each spring, nominations to the council are solicited through the UAB Reporter and through other appropriate means. You may nominate someone whom you feel would well represent the institution. You may nominate yourself, or you may be nominated by a fellow employee. Selection to the council depends on a number of factors including, but not limited to, the number of vacancies representing the various units of the university, the number of votes an individual receives, and whether or not an individual from the same department or a closely associated department is currently serving on the council. It is the intent to have the council represent the institution broadly. For this reason, individuals from diverse areas and occupations are selected. All council members must contribute at least one hour's pay per month to the Benevolent Fund and be either full-time regular or part-time regular faculty or staff. After a thorough review of the nominees in relation to these and other factors, the Benevolent Fund Executive Board creates a slate of candidates for election by entire council at a monthly business meeting. Nominees' supervisors are asked the approve nominations to make sure employees are able to participate fully.
+ - How can I be of assistance to the Benevolent Fund if I am not a council member? Click to collapse
You can help through your donations and through your suggestions regarding improvements in the operations of the Benevolent Fund. You may also volunteer your time to assist in the annual campaign.
The Employee Emergency Assistance Program is a means by which part of the fund's donations are used to assist UAB employees who have experienced emergency situations that require them to seek financial assistance. Financial awards may be made to employees who qualify under the Employee Emergency Assistance guidelines (see bylaws). In emergency situations, the program may help pay grocery bills, rent or mortgage payments, electric or gas bills, doctor bills and the like. Emergencies usually involve a medical emergency that causes leave without pay, fire, tornado or other natural disaster, or similar major crisis.
You may designate your gift to any agency supported by the Benevolent Fund in a given year. To designate, simply indicate the agency code on the Benevolent Fund pledge card in the blocks marked "Agency Code." You may designate to the United Way, Community Health Charities of Alabama, Inc., to any individual agency of either, or to any independent agency.
+ - Can I designate my gift specifically to the Employee Emergency Assistance Program? Click to collapse
The best way to insure that EEAP continues to be well funded is to fill out your pledge form and designate to code 000 (undesignated fund). All of EEAP's money comes from undesignated funding, because while the Council budgets around $150,000 annually for EEAP, some years more or less money is needed and it's important to be able to bring in more dollars for UAB employees if more legitimate cases are brought forth. When you give to the undesignated fund it is important to know that your gift can go to any of the agencies that the Benevolent Fund gives to, but at the same time, that is the best way to insure dollars for EEAP.
Absolutely. Designated gifts are accounted for separately, and that information is transmitted with the designated monies to the appropriate agencies.
No. Some contributors wish their names to be revealed to the designated agencies. Others do not. Since the council does not know your wishes, confidentiality is maintained. But you can be absolutely assured that the monies you designate do go to the specified agencies. If you are a member of a Board of Directors of one of our agencies, then contact the Benevolent Fund Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org and the Program Manager will write an individual letter on your behalf to confirm your contribution.
Yes. While designation to multiple agencies is discouraged because of bookkeeping considerations, you may designate to more than one agency if you wish.
The fund supports health and human services agencies that meet the stringent guidelines for support established by the Benevolent Fund Council.
The Bylaws of the Benevolent Fund require that the Community Health Charities of Alabama, Inc. and the United Way be funded each year, although no specific amount of support is specified. This is a decision made annually by the Benevolent Fund Council after consultation with agency representatives and the university administration. Independent agencies may apply for and receive funding for up to two consecutive years. Agencies are limited to two years to allow for participation by a variety of community agencies. Their applications are reviewed by the Agency Review Committee, which subsequently makes recommendations to the full council. To assure good stewardship of your gifts, successful agencies must meet very stringent guidelines. These guidelines are available in the bylaws and can viewed, during regular business hours, at the Benevolent Fund office.
United Way agencies and Community Health Charities are automatically part of the Campaign. Independent Agencies (groups that are not affiliated with United Way or CHC and have a local presence for at least 3 years) may complete the Independent Agency Grant Application that is available December 1st of each year. The application is on this website and is due by mid-February. The Council sends the application to the Non-Profit Resource Center of Alabama to assist in soliciting applications.
Simply complete the UAB Faculty and Staff Benevolent Fund pledge form available on this website and fax it to 975-9608. Look under "Campaign Brochure" if you are interested in designating (note that each agency has a 3 digit code).
It is the employee's responsibility to notify the Benevolent Fund office of any errors regarding contribution deductions. Any errors older than 60 days may not be refunded. Please contact the Benevolent Fund Manager at 934-1581 or email@example.com.
All contribution change or cancellation requests need to be submitted to the Benevolent Fund office in writing. To make a change simply type a sentence or two to explain your request, type your name, include your signature and your UAB employee number (found on your paycheck) and fax the letter to 975-9608.
A continuous giver is a contributor who gives an amount monthly that equals or exceeds one hour's pay and who pledges this amount on a continuous basis. Continuous hourly or percent donatations to the Benevolent Fund are changed automatically with any change in salary. Continuous givers are not resolicited and are not asked to sign new pledge cards. Your continuous pledge stays in effect indefinitely, until you choose to change it.
+ - How else can I contribute if I do not wish or am not financially able to be a continuous giver? Click to collapse
We encourage everyone to be a continuous giver if possible, but there are several alternatives. You may give one hour's pay or any percentage per month on an annual basis. Or, you may give a flat rate each month on an annual basis, a single deduction (deducted from your July paycheck), or you may make a check or money order payable to the Benevolent Fund. In each of these situations, you will be re-solicited in the subsequent year, and you will then have the opportunity to indicate how you wish to give the following year. Instructions regarding the various means of giving appear on the pledge form.
Yes. In accordance with IRS regulations.
The fiscal year for the Benevolent Fund is from July 1 through June 30. If you sign up in response to the annual campaign, your deductions will begin July 1. If you are a new employee or wish to begin contributing any time during the calendar year, your deductions may begin immediately.
+ - How much of my contribution goes to cover administrative costs of the Benevolent Fund? Click to collapse
It is the intent of the Benevolent Fund Council to keep administrative costs at an absolute minimum. Council members are not paid. Their work is strictly voluntary. There are some costs associated with the campaign each year, and the normal activities of the council incur nominal costs. Historically these costs have been less than 5% of contributions.
Yes. The UAB Benevolent Fund financial statement can be reviewed at the Benevolent Fund Office during regular business hours.