‘United We Fight, United We Win’: Pitt United Way 2018 Campaign Launches

How to donate

The United Way Campaign website has information about how you can donate. Options include payroll deduction, credit card, check or even by mail. Donors can contribute to the United Way Impact Fund, through which the United Way targets funds to support the local agencies that serve populations facing the most critical current needs, or donors can instead choose from hundreds of local and regional organizations to direct their contributions toward.

With a focus on critical health and human service issues, the United Way works to address the greatest challenges facing local communities. From supporting neighbors coping with unexpected crises to helping working families remain self-sufficient, the United Way supports local programing that provides meaningful impact to children, families, seniors and people with disabilities.

In 2017, Pitt’s campaign raised more than $687,000 — its highest total ever and 95 percent of the overall goal. Additionally, the campaign recorded having the most donors since 2013 and the highest number of new donors since Pitt started the campaign.

This year’s Pitt United Way campaign — the theme of which is United We Fight, United We Win — has two major goals: to have at least 25 percent of faculty and staff participate in the campaign and to raise $750,000 in overall donations. Greg Scott, senior vice chancellor for business and operations, is serving as this year’s campaign chair.

Getting and staying involved

There are plenty of ways University faculty and staff can get involved to help achieve the campaign’s goals, including department-planned special events like bake sales or car washes.

“When you have a special event in your department, you’re generating excitement and awareness,” said Kate McGlynn, campaign director and manager of administration in the Office of Institutional Advancement.

literacy kitAlso helpful in generating excitement are fun participation incentives, including the return of weekly prize drawings. Starting Oct. 12, weekly drawings will take place for prizes like a parking spot in the lot of the winner’s choosing for one month, an extra vacation day, and two tickets to an upcoming men’s basketball game. Employees who make their donations before Fridays at noon are eligible for the drawing that takes place that week and for all subsequent drawings each week. Individual departments have created their own incentives to encourage participation, too, and prizes have included casual dress days and early dismissals.

In addition to aiming for higher employee participation and donation goals, this year’s campaign also includes a book drive to support the United Way’s 100,000 Books Campaign. The literacy campaign aims to improve reading skills of children and give them better access to quality books. Pitt faculty and staff can both contribute books and participate in sessions to build literacy kits — tote bags that include a new book, bookmarks decorated by Pitt community members and other literacy activities — that are distributed by United Way volunteers to at-risk children in the Western Pennsylvania region. The Center for Creativity is hosting a literacy kit making session on Oct. 12 (register online). To schedule a session to build literacy kits in your department, contact pittunitedway@pitt.edu.

How does your office or department participate?

Does your department do something special to help build participation in the Pitt United Way Campaign? Are there friendly challenges, special events or spirit days that make your department stand out? Tell us about it!

@Pitt would like to feature teams that make engaging in the campaign fun and interactive for staff and faculty. Email your plans — and pictures — to @Pitt so that we can share them with the Pitt community.