UAB’s Benevolent Fund campaign drive received a record pledge of $1,634,212 for 2008, topping the previous high mark by more than $100,000 says David Precise, Benevolent Fund program manager.

Athletics Director Brian Mackin addressed the crowd at the Benevolent Fund Campaign Celebration & Luncheon July 16.

That was made possible in part by the 1,053 new gifts pledged during the campaign — 207 more gifts than 2007. Precise says the 2008 program, behind the campaign of Health and Education Reaching Out (HERO), has been a tremendous success.

“Campaigns are successful in areas where employees organize solicitor teams, get support from their departmental leadership and have fun with the campaign,” Precise says. “The campaign results show the hard work of all campaign volunteers and the generosity of UAB employees. Without question, in a year when the economy is difficult, these dollars will help thousands of people in the Birmingham area, including many UAB employees that have crisis situations.”

President Carol Garrison announced the results of the 2008 campaign at the Benevolent Fund Campaign Celebration & Luncheon July 16. More than 100 campaign volunteers attended the luncheon that featured remarks from Garrison, Vice President of Financial Affairs and Administration Richard Margison, Athletics Director Brian Mackin and football Coach Neil Callaway.

Two employees, Wanda Ashford in Student Financial Aid and Debbie Morgette in Student Affairs, also spoke of how the Benevolent Fund benefited their families during a time of crisis.

Because of the donations employees make to the UAB Benevolent Fund, their fellow co-workers are helped in a variety of ways and more than 140 community organizations also received support from faculty and staff. Among those are the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Salvation Army and the YWCA.

Six groups honored
Six groups received awards for their participation in encouraging pledges for this year’s campaign. The School of Health Professions was selected as the Leadership Award winner with 13 new leadership givers and a long-time leader of the Benevolent Fund Campaign.

The Shining Star Award was given to The Graduate School. It’s a new award for the most outstanding campaign in an area with 25 or fewer employees. This area set a goal of 100 percent participation and achieved it. The Kirklin Clinic increased its annual giving by more than $9,000 with 39 new givers, 10 one-time gifts, a new leadership giver and raffle money, earning the Most Improved Award.

Information Technology is the Most Creative Award winner after three race teams built cars out of air-conditioner boxes that they later raced in the Rev I.T. up I.T. 100 Race. Information Technology raised its overall giving from 52 percent to 78 percent by the end of the race, including 46 new givers, three upgraded givers and two new leadership givers.

The Super Hero Award went to Student Affairs, for sustained excellence in overall giving in their area. Each of the more than 150 Student Affairs employees are contributing again while raising their level of continuous givers and overall dollars. VIVA Health was selected as the Best Overall Award winner after quadrupling its participation, going from 16 percent giving to 66 percent giving. Eighty-eight percent of all new givers are continuous givers, including four new leadership givers. Faculty and staff are encouraged to consider contributing at a level appropriate for them.

Some common contributions include:
• One hour’s pay per month (just 12 out of 2,080 hours for a full-time employee)
• 1 percent of annual pay per month
• A continuous fixed amount each month
• A one-time payroll deduction or gift by check

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. Decisions regarding the solicitation and distribution of funds are made by a council of UAB employees who are elected by fellow employees to serve two-year renewable terms or appointed by UAB administration to serve indefinitely.

For more information, visit online or call 934-1581.