One use of the word "family" as the dictionary defines it is "a body of employees united in a common enterprise."
It's this interpretation that the university is counting on this week as it kicks off its campus campaign pledge drive. Titled "Our Hopkins, Our Future," the campus campaign is part of the Johns Hopkins Initiative that began in October 1994, an ambitious effort to raise $900 million in five years.
The $883 million raised so far has been donated primarily by alumni, foundations and friends of the university and Johns Hopkins Hospital. Now the university is asking its more than 22,500 faculty and staff to show their support.
Although no dollar amount has been set for this part of the drive, the university hopes a large percentage of employees will participate by giving what they can.
"It makes a difference when people close to the institution show their support," said Robert Lindgren, vice president for development and alumni relations, because--in addition to the dollars raised--it offers a "compelling case" to outside donors.
In a similar campus drive conducted during the last general campaign, which ended in 1990, employees donated upward of $20 million.
Three co-chairs have been named to head the campus campaign: Bruce Marsh, a professor of earth and planetary sciences in the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences; Victor McKusick, professor of medical genetics, School of Medicine; and Edyth Schoenrich, professor of health policy and management, School of Public Health. Each university division has a campaign chair and coordinator to answer employees' questions about the campus campaign and the priority needs of each division.
The campaign, which begins this week with the mailing of brochures, is directed at all Hopkins faculty and staff, full- and part-time, including adjunct faculty and employees who are also alumni. There is no official ending date to the campaign.
Employees are being encouraged to make a pledge or gift to the institution in one of three ways: by making a cash contribution, which can be given by check, credit card or payroll deduction; by transferring to the university a non-cash asset, such as real estate or a collection of value; or by designating a planned gift, such as a life-income-producing arrangement ormaking Hopkins a beneficiary of one's estate.
These gifts can be either unrestricted or earmarked to a particular division, department or program.
Campaign co-chair Bruce Marsh said the ability of the campaign to allow donors to earmark their gifts is essential.
"The faculty has a wisdom where monies should go," Marsh said. For instance, he said, the needs of the library or of a research facility are best known by its staff.
The unrestricted funds raised go toward the "pressing and immediate needs" of the university, such as operating expenses or the ability for an academic program to increase its staff, he said.
The tradition of private support, both external and internal, has existed ever since the university was founded in 1876 with a $7 million bequest from merchant Johns Hopkins. In fact, says Marsh, grants and donations are the lifeblood of the institution.
"This is how we live," Marsh said. "In many ways we don't have to be sold on the act of giving to the institution. It's just a way of life here."
These gifts, according to Lindgren, will ensure the future financial stability of the institution.
In total, 58 percent of the $900 million raised has been committed to endowment and capital expenditures, with the remainder targeted to fund academic programs and general university and hospital needs. Income generated from the endowment supports such items as faculty salaries, student financial aid and scholarly research. Capital contributions support equipment and facilities, both new and renovated.
Lindgren said that increasing the university's endowment is one of the highest priorities of the overall campaign. At least 10 universities similar in size to Hopkins, he said, have endowments at least twice as large. Currently, Hopkins is only able to generate 4 percent of its annual operating budget from endowment income, and "the endowment proceeds at other schools allow them to offer more student financial aid programs," Lindgren said. "We need to have this type of flexibility Hopkins."
Margaret Hindman, director of development communications, said it's hard for Hopkins to grow and to maintain its standards without private philanthropic support. "Endowment gifts allow Hopkins to count on a predictable cash flow," Hindman said.
"We all benefit from the philanthropy of staff and faculty," she added. "When those closest to the institution make a gift to the institution, it's a way of saying they acknowledge the difference Hopkins makes in the world."