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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University January 8, 2007 | Vol. 36 No. 16
United Way Campaign Wraps at $2.5 Million

Chili Cook-Off tasters: Jim Zeller
Photo by Will Kirk/HIPS

Three units exceed goals; funds will go to fixing root problems in communities

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

The totals are in: Employees and students from the university, Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Applied Physics Laboratory pledged more than $2.5 million to the 2006 United Way of Central Maryland campaign. The amount, just short of the campaign's overall goal, is the third largest in university history.

The university this past year employed a more streamlined and personal approach than in previous years. In place of traditional university and divisionwide kickoffs, the campaigns featured more department- and office-level events that sought to educate Johns Hopkins employees on why to give to United Way of Central Maryland, which supports human service agencies in Baltimore City and its five surrounding counties. The campaign was shortened, too, officially ending on Nov. 22.

The university took a cue from United Way of Central Maryland, which has adopted a new, sharpened focus that seeks to prioritize four impact areas: Basic Human Needs, Family Safety, School Readiness and Youth Achieving Potential. After a competitive bidding process that took place over the summer, it now supports 40 agancies that best demonstrated their ability to deliver long-term, measurable results in these impact areas.

In addition, the organization is continuing its partnerships with the American Red Cross, Associated Black Charities, the Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore, Catholic Charities, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and Community Health Charities of Maryland.

Julie Hiscox
Photo by Will Kirk/HIPS

This year's three campaign chairs — for the university, Frank Bossle, executive director of the Office of Hopkins Internal Audits; for the Applied Physics Laboratory, Sharon Warner, managing executive of the Lab's Business Services Department; and for Johns Hopkins Medicine, Patricia Brown, president of Johns Hopkins Health Care — set a total goal of $2,670,000. The JHM campaign was co-chaired by Barbara De Lateur, director and Lawrence Cardinal Shehan Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

The university's campaign officially kicked off on Oct. 2. Johns Hopkins Medicine launched its intensive two-week United Way effort the following month. APL's campaign took place from Sept. 11 to Oct. 13.

Bossle said that the final donation figure was "extremely" generous, topped only by the totals from the two previous years.

"While it's very disappointing that we didn't reach our overall goal, there is a lot to be thankful for. We appreciate all the hard work our coordinators put in and all those who pledged this year," Bossle said. "I think people should be really proud of being on the ground floor of this bold new attempt by United Way to fix some of the root problems in our communities, rather then deal with the symptoms. I'm very optimistic about what the future holds."

The Johns Hopkins Medicine campaign had perhaps the most positive overall campaign, besting its financial goal by 6 percent and increasing its participation rate by more than 5 percent over the previous year, going from 19.5 percent to 24.1 percent.

"This is a significant increase, most of which is attributable to the phenomenal success at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, which increased its participation from 16 percent to 47.7 percent," said Patricia Brown. "The fact that we have been able to move our participation rates up by 24 percent in the aggregate only goes to show that it can be done. Increased giving, coupled with the new United Way focus on outcomes and results, only means more benefit to those in need in our community."

As to why the university did not achieve its overall goal, Bossle said that the reason was likely a confluence of factors, many of them internal. Specifically, he said that there was an "uneven" delivery in pledge forms as some were hand-delivered and some mailed out.

"We got out of the blocks really slowly this year, and perhaps never fully recovered," he said. "Next year I think we need to go back to a more uniform department by department and personal contact approach to delivering pledge forms and making first contact with people."

Ed Skrodzki
Photo by Will Kirk/HIPS

Johns Hopkins United Way leadership also noted that the United Way of Central Maryland's decision to trim down its number of supported agencies also might have had an impact on the campaign, as the final list of agencies was not announced until the JHU campaign was officially over.

The $2,519,627 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 $2,690,000. Jan. 1 was the official last day pledges were marked toward the 2006 United Way of Central Maryland campaign, although donations are still being accepted.

Three of the university's 13 United Way-designated units exceeded their goal: Homewood Student Affairs, the School of Medicine, and retired faculty and staff. Of special note in this year's campaign, the School of Medicine bested its goal by 5 percent, raising $578,576. Homewood Student Affairs had the highest participation rate, 54 percent, and raised $36,072. The School of Nursing had the second-highest participation rate, 43 percent.

The combined participation rate was 16.2 percent.

Overall, Johns Hopkins institutions had 434 leadership members, a designation for those who donate $1,000 or more. Leadership members were responsible for 29 percent of the total collected.

APL raised $658,480, with a 37 percent participation rate. To date, Lab staff have also taken part in 30 Day of Caring events and 200 participation hours.

Warner said that while she was very happy with the campaign's strong finish and that it topped its goal, the Lab would have liked a higher participation rate. There is also some concern, she said, that several Howard County agencies that had received funding from the United Way in the past were not selected by the agency for its new safety net.

"One of the messages that we highlighted was how the contributions help those in our neighborhood, and that thought is diminished somewhat because of this change," Warner said.

Bill Conley
Photo by Will Kirk/HIPS

For this campaign, the university's annual Day of Caring event involved Civic Works, a nonprofit agency that provides community services throughout Baltimore, including team-based service projects and after-school tutoring. JHU employees joined Civic Works staff and Americorps members on Oct. 24 to clean up and beautify a vacant lot on the corner of Homewood and North avenues, across from Green Mount Cemetery. The team mulched the area and planted trees, rose bushes and flowers. In October, Johns Hopkins employees took part in the Share Yourself Makeover Challenge, which invited six major area employers to help renovate the East Baltimore headquarters of Healthy Start, a United Way agency that offers client-oriented core services to the area's pregnant women and infants.

Divisions and departments also hosted special fund-raising events, including the Chili Cook-Off sponsored by Homewood Student Affairs and the Office of Faculty, Staff and Retiree Programs. Several departments had bake sales and contests — the School of Professional Studies in Business and Education (now the Carey Business School and the School of Education) had a "count the candy in the jar" contest, and Peabody had a balloon pop with prizes hidden inside.

Larry Walton, president of United Way of Central Maryland, said, "The dedication that Johns Hopkins University continues to show to United Way and the community is remarkable. In a year of change to Community Impact, it is courageous not only of our organization, but of those donors who stand with us in facing the issues of our communities head on. We commend the tireless effort that Johns Hopkins has given to United Way and its partners."

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

For a complete list of the agencies now supported by United Way of Central Maryland, go to


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