About The Gazette Search Back Issues Contact Us    
The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University January 9, 2006 | Vol. 35 No. 16
United Way Campaign Tops Its Goal
Late push by volunteers brings final tally to $2.69 million

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

Due to a strong start and robust final weeks, the 2005 Johns Hopkins United Way campaign has surpassed its goal. As of Jan. 5, the official last day pledges were marked toward the 2005 United Way of Central Maryland campaign, the combined contributions from those at the university, Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Applied Physics Laboratory totaled $2.69 million, nearly $94,000 past the desired mark.

The university's campaign officially kicked off on Sept. 22. Johns Hopkins Medicine launched its intensive two-week United Way effort the following month with a free lunch for anyone who brought his or her completed pledge forms to an outdoor celebration.

This year's three campaign chairs--for the university, Stephanie Reel, vice provost for information technology and chief information officer; for the Applied Physics Laboratory, Jim Happel, a member of APL's principal professional staff; and for Johns Hopkins Medicine, Patricia Brown, president of Johns Hopkins Health Care--had set a combined goal of $2,568,000.

The $2.69 million raised represents a total for contributions from JHM and all university divisions except the School of Advanced International Studies, whose donations are reported to the National Capital Area campaign in Washington. Last year's combined Johns Hopkins gifts to the United Way of Central Maryland totaled $2,525,203.

Reel said that the campaign, whose theme was "Helping Neighbors in Need," started off like "gangbusters" and then leveled off. What helped put the campaign over the top, Reel said, was the hard work and enthusiasm of the volunteer solicitors who mounted a strong and successful final push.

Reel said at the start of the campaign that there was some concern that the high degree of giving that was supporting disaster relief efforts for victims of the South Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina would affect the United Way.

"It was a tough year, and that is why I'm so elated that we were able to meet our goal," Reel said. "The only disappointing aspect was participation, which [at 20 percent] wasn't as high as we would have liked. But that could be attributed in part to the charity fatigue due to the generous amounts people gave to hurricane relief."

Six of the university's 14 United Way-designated units exceeded their goals, and four others were just slightly short. Of special note in this year's campaign, the School of Medicine bested its goal by nearly 18 percent, raising $625,960. Homewood Student Affairs had the highest participation rate, 65 percent, and raised $34,423. Johns Hopkins University Press had the second-highest participation rate, 48 percent.

Overall, Johns Hopkins institutions had 486 leadership members--93 of them new--a designation for those who donate $1,000 or more. Leadership members were responsible for 58 percent of the total collected.

APL raised more than $665,000 with a 40 percent participation rate and took part in more than 30 Day of Caring projects.

Happel said the Lab's "low-key" campaign, which didn't advertise a specific goal amount, seemed to appeal to the staff.

"We tried to make it more about helping and about people rather than seeing how much money we could collect," Happel said. "That theme seemed to work for us this year."

The university's Day of Caring event involved Marian House, a transitional housing agency for women located near Johns Hopkins at Eastern; a group of its residents joined JHU volunteers for lunch and a visit to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture. Also, school supplies were collected for St. Jerome's Head Start, a federally funded program providing academic skills training to children from low-income families.

Divisions and departments also hosted special fund-raising events, including the Octoberfest held by IT@JH, a Chili Cook-Off sponsored by Homewood Student Affairs and the School of Nursing's Karaoke Party. Several departments had bake sales and contests, while Homewood Student Affairs got artistic with a Paint the Blue Jay contest, and Psychological and Brain Sciences dreamed up a Coin War contest to mess with people's heads (and tails). The Center for Communication Programs at the School of Public Health held an in-house, online auction and raised $2,900 that went to Baltimore Community Foundation, a United Way agency; the center's staff donated items that had been collected during international travels.

Although the campaign has officially ended, donations are needed and welcome all year round. To make a pledge, or for more information on the campaign, go to the campaign's secure Web site at


The Gazette | The Johns Hopkins University | Suite 540 | 901 S. Bond St. | Baltimore, MD 21231 | 443-287-9900 |