Despite a gloomy economy, employees and students of
the university and Johns Hopkins
Medicine pledged more than $2.1 million to the 2008 United Way of Central
Maryland campaign, topping the overall goal by nearly
More than $200,000 of the total was pledged to the
Johns Hopkins Neighborhood Fund, which
supports agencies that serve communities in close proximity
to Johns Hopkins campuses and have a
strong relationship with the university and its employees.
Employees were allowed to designate all or
part of their donation to the fund, created last year to
assist community-oriented organizations and
agencies that may not currently receive United Way
The $2,113,344 raised represents a total for
contributions from all university divisions except
SAIS, whose donations are reported to the National Capital
Area campaign in Washington, D.C., and
the Applied Physics Laboratory, which no longer reports its
financial goals and results. The combined
university/Johns Hopkins Medicine financial goal for the
2008 campaign was $2,066,000.
In 2007, Johns Hopkins raised $2,058,166.
Noticeably absent from this year's campaign were the
traditional pledge packets that had been
either mailed to employees' homes or sent to their campus
mailboxes. In keeping with the university's
Sustainability Initiative, the campaign had gone mostly
paperless. Employees were able to contribute
through a secure and confidential electronic system.
Nick Jones, the Benjamin T. Rome Dean of the Whiting
School of Engineering and the
university's United Way chair, said that he marveled at the
way employees positively responded to the
annual call for giving.
"This was a tough year for charitable donations, so
I'm absolutely thrilled at the level of
participation and the amount of money we were able to
raise," Jones said. "As I pitched throughout
the campaign, Johns Hopkins must continue to be a leader
and step up when times are tough. Even
faced with these great financial challenges, and a new
paperless system of pledging, the Johns
Hopkins community came together in a fabulous way."
Jones gave "a huge amount of credit" to the JHU United
Way divisional coordinators,
ambassadors and staff who rolled out the campaign.
"At every opportunity, these folks did their very best
to promote the campaign and get people
involved," Jones said. "And our community responded."
United Way of Central Maryland supports human service
agencies in Baltimore City and its five
surrounding counties. With donations still filtering in,
$1,242,988 has been pledged to the university's
campaign, which kicked off Oct. 13 and officially ended
Several of the university's 15 United Way designated
units far exceeded their goal. Of special
note in this year's campaign, the Carey Business School
bested its goal by 49 percent, raising $17,878
with a 44 percent participation rate.
The overall university participation rate was 17
In its inaugural year, 2007, the Johns Hopkins
Neighborhood Fund raised $148,830 plus
$20,000 from President William R. Brody's office. To be
considered for funds, nonprofit organizations
must be associated with Johns Hopkins through employee
and/or institutional involvement and deliver
services to the communities near Johns Hopkins campuses. A
committee representing a cross section
of Johns Hopkins employees oversees the allocation of the
Jeff Pratt, director of Faculty, Staff and Retiree
Programs, the office that oversees the JHU
United Way campaign, said that the second round of grants
through the Neighborhood Fund will be
distributed in March.
Johns Hopkins Medicine launched its intensive two-week
United Way effort on Oct. 13 and
raised $1,545,773, exceeding its goal.
Joanne Pollak, United Way chair for Johns Hopkins
Medicine and vice president and general
counsel of JHM, said that the campaign was poised to miss
the mark, but with almost 70 Leadership
pledges ($1,000 and up) and donors rallying at the 11th
hour, they were able to surpass the
$1,484,500 target by more than $61,000.
Pollak said that nearly all Johns Hopkins Medicine
entities met or far surpassed their goals.
Notably, Johns Hopkins Home Care Group raised 155 percent
of its goal, Johns Hopkins Community
Physicians raised 134 percent of its goal, and many
administrative and clinical departments exceeded
50 percent participation, with three at 100 percent.
While there were many positives, Pollak noted that
Johns Hopkins Medicine fell short of last
year's dollar total and participation rate. She said she
believes that several factors may have
contributed to the down tick, namely the economic situation
and the paperless campaign.
"We believe many donors were waiting for the packet
and personal visit that they had received
in prior years, and that delayed their giving, or they did
not give as a result," she said. "In addition,
there were several charitable campaigns that overlapped the
United Way campaign in the fall of
In addition to the Neighborhood Fund, employees were
able to donate all or part of their gift to
United Way of Central Maryland, a specific agency or one or
more of three new "Live United" program
areas: education, income, and health and safety.
The "Live United" initiative also asks people to
participate more holistically, not just to give but
also to advocate on behalf of United Way's member
organizations and to volunteer their time at area
To increase the number of donors and put some fun into
the fund raising, this year's campaign
featured more activities than in the past. Events included
a Leadership Luncheon with WJZ-TV anchor
Denise Koch as the featured speaker, the second annual
Homewood Block Party and the sixth annual
Chili Cook-Off and Bake-Off. In addition, divisions held
festive events such as a free breakfast
sponsored by the School of Public Health, an ice cream
social at the School of Nursing and an online
auction run by Campus Safety and Security at Homewood, all
to raise awareness and encourage
donations to this year's campaign.
Expressing his appreciation to Johns Hopkins donors
and leadership, Mark Furst, executive vice
president and chief operating officer of United Way of
Central Maryland, said, "Today's
unprecedented economic challenges are placing great stress
on the nonprofit community as we
struggle to address the needs of more and more people who
are in crisis, or at risk of falling into it.
"The fact that the university achieved its campaign
goal, having been at 85 percent just a few
weeks ago, is a testament to the people and culture of
Johns Hopkins, and to the leadership provided
by Nick Jones and Joanne Pollak," he said. "There are
literally tens of thousands of people across the
region who will benefit from the generosity of the Hopkins
community. On their behalf, we are
Although the campaign has officially ended, donations
are needed and welcome all year. To make
a pledge, or for more information on the campaign, go to: