Campus & Community

Community Gifts campaign kicks off giving season

2 min read

Last year, 600 nonprofit agencies chosen by employees were helped

Whether the impending holidays bring joyful anticipation or stressed-out dread, Harvard employees can get a jump-start on the giving season with the University’s 2003-04 Community Gifts Through Harvard Campaign, which launched this week and runs through November. The campaign, with a goal this year of $1 million, provides a low-stress, high-impact vehicle for improving the lives of people around the corner or across the globe.

“Our mutual interest in supporting the communities we live in gives us an opportunity to share our concerns with others and participate as a member of the Harvard community in helping to lend support to individuals or issues that need our help,” says Alan J. Stone, Harvard vice president for Government, Community and Public Affairs and chair of the Community Gifts Through Harvard Campaign.

For more Community Gifts information or pledge cards, call (617) 495-1598.

Employees received Community Gifts information and solicitation cards through the mail this week and are encouraged to return them by the end of the month. Harvard, traditionally the most generous university fundraiser for United Way of Massachusetts Bay, brought in $1,018,895 last year that helped 600 nonprofit agencies chosen by employees.

Community Gifts Through Harvard is unique among workplace giving campaigns because it lets employees direct gifts to charities of their choice, says Mary Ann Jarvis, associate director of community relations and the administrator of the campaign for more than 15 years. While the United Way remains the largest recipient of Community Gifts funds, last year netting $477,396 from Harvard employees, more than 124 smaller local organizations were also beneficiaries of the campaign. Rosie’s Place of Boston, a shelter for women, was last year’s second-largest beneficiary, with $26,291 from Harvard employees; other gifts went to organizations helping children, caring for the elderly, preventing drug and alcohol abuse, and providing education.

“Whatever your motivation for giving, we know our gifts are necessary in building an environment that helps transform lives and creates change,” says Stone.