New Match Doubles Impact of Faculty and Staff Campaign
Donors to the Fall 2009 Faculty and Staff Campaign can double the impact of their gifts through a one-time, $500,000 reserve fund that will match individual donations up to $10,000, according to Michael Leto, vice chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations.
“The gift matching program is a recognition that private investment is extraordinarily important,” says Leto. “We want to encourage faculty and staff investment by providing extra support for those programs they value the most.”
The campaign has a goal of $550,000, says Tom Navin, director of Annual Giving in the Development Office. The fundraising effort is being co-chaired by Joseph Bartolomeo, professor and chair of the English Department; Lee Edwards, professor emeritus and retired dean of Humanities and Fine Arts; Leslie Schaler, design illustrator with the University Libraries; Cynthia Suopis, senior lecturer in University Without Walls; and Johnny Whitehead, chief of the UMass Amherst Police Department.
Through the matching program, pledges made by Dec. 31 by current and retired faculty and staff will be matched dollar for dollar, up to the $10,000 level. Current employees can opt to have their gift made through payroll deduction.
Leto says using campus reserve funds for the matching pool creates a new opportunity for staff and faculty to maximize the benefits of their giving. “It’s not an expense,” he says. “It’s a reinvestment in our own programs.”
When a campus has strong support from its own employees, he says, it also boosts other fundraising efforts.
“It sends a powerful message,” Leto says. “When we ask potential off-campus donors for support, we can say, ‘We’re not asking you to do anything we’re not doing ourselves.’”
With the extra incentive of the matching funds and the campaign co-chairs leading by example, Leto says now is the perfect time for the staff and faculty to show their support for UMass Amherst.
“We do have generous people on campus,” he says. “I think we’ll be surprised if we don’t use all of that $500,000.”