Campaign Goal Attainable with Flurry of Holiday Season Giving By Mike Field With less than three weeks to go in the 1994 Johns Hopkins United Way Campaign, pledges and con-tributions amounting to more than 90 percent of the $556,000 goal have been received, and officials are cautiously optimistic they will meet their target before the end of the year. "Historically, we tend to receive large cash contributions in the weeks immediately preceding Christmas," said Judy Peregoff, United Way administrator and director of the Office of Faculty, Staff and Retiree Programs. "We are slightly ahead of last year s figures to date, so I am still hopeful we will reach our goal." In 1993 the Hopkins United Way Campaign exceeded its goal by raising $529,169. Alfred Sommer, dean of the Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health and the university s campaign chair for 1994, addressed university administrators, staff and United Way solicitors at a thank-you breakfast last week. In his remarks he noted that there was a lot more enthusiasm generated right from the beginning of the campaign, in large part because three times as many employees as last year had volunteered to be solicitors. "Being a solicitor is not an easy task, but it is so important to the campaign s success," he said. "People want to give, and they appreciate a reminder. The solicitors provide that, going out of their way to make the important one-on-one appeal to co-workers. So, in the final days of the campaign, keep on reminding," he urged them. This year s effort, with a goal 5 percent above last year s, has resulted in more than 500 new contributors to the program, said Peregoff, further evidence that the adverse publicity surrounding financial irregularities at the national United Way organization has begun to subside. Contributions to the program declined significantly in 1992 after allegations of impropriety at the national level surfaced. "We re still rebuilding," said Peregoff, who noted that the Hopkins effort is on behalf of the United Way of Central Maryland, a totally separate entity, incorporated in Maryland and run by a volunteer board of directors of which Dr. Richardson is a member. It is important to differentiate between the national and local United Way organizations. "Non-profit organizations typically have overhead and administrative costs of about 25 percent or more," she said. "United Way of Central Maryland s costs are only about 13 percent roughly half the national average and we are extremely proud of that." The local organization typically uses about 7 percent of the money it receives to pay for fund-raising costs, 4 percent for administrative costs and about 2 percent for programs administration. Less than 1 percent is earmarked as dues to the national United Way organization. This year, the Hopkins United Way campaign is raising money to help support 59 community agencies and over 130 funded programs in the Central Maryland region. The programs address the full range of human needs within eight broad categories: community support, emergency assistance, health care, family services, services for te elderly, services for people with disabilities, youth services, and adult training and employment programs. "If there is a human problem, there is probably a United Way agency attempting to address it," Peregoff said. In addition to financial contributions, many individuals also donate time to their favorite United Way charity. "One of the ways we are able to help keep overhead low and ensure that as much money as possible is spent on services is through the extensive use of volunteer labor," Peregoff said. "Last year, more than 20,000 volunteers helped our United Way to efficiently fulfill its mission of matching resources to needs." For many people confronting personal hardships, the United Way of Central Maryland is the first place they turn for help. The organization operates a 24- hour/seven-day hotline providing information and referrals for all manner of difficulties. The hotline can be reached at 685-0525. It serves the region as a clearing-house for human services and offers individuals in crisis a round-the-clock source of help. As the 1994 Hopkins United Way Campaign winds to a close, Peregoff and campaign divisional coordinators and solicitors are busy writing letters and making personal reminders to many people who have contributed in the past, but may have simply forgotten to fill out their pledge cards this year. "Everyone likes to meet goals, but in the long run that s really not the point of all this," Peregoff said. "I believe it s important that we at Hopkins, both individually and as an institution, make a significant contribution to our community. As one of the region s largest employers we have to assume a leadership role in this regard." Everyone in the university community is welcome to join in the effort, she said. "It s still not too late. If you haven t filled out your pledge card, there s still time."
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