_ERR2898.jpgEVANSTON, Ill. --- More than 900 generous Northwestern University community members donated more than $300,000 to support the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago or the charity of their choice.

 

While the total amount in contributions and pledges exceeded the University’s goal for 2014, this year’s final amount resulted in a 3.8 percent decrease from last year’s total of $314,145.

 

“A major difference in this year’s campaign was that the number of United Way leadership givers -- those who gave $1,000 or more -- dropped by 10 percent, which is why the campaign brought in 3.8 percent less in total donations this year,” said Brian Peters, assistant vice-president for University Services.

 

However, there was more participation by non-leadership givers which is very encouraging.

 

All donations to the United Way support the most effective programs and strategies in education, income and health -- considered the building blocks of self-sufficiency and equality of life -- in 58 underserved communities in the Chicago region.

 

Peters said this was the first year that Northwestern had an electronic campaign that could accept payroll deductions, which many contributors found a convenient way to donate. “ Last year, we could only accept credit cards,” Peters said.

 

Campaign highlights included 42 campaign areas that increased their total contribution amount compared to 2013; 37 campaign areas that increased their team participation rate compared to last year; and 75 percent of all donations were submitted online.

 

Total pledges and contributions for 2014 are $302,156 (with $253,126 of that amount from Northwestern employees; $19,210 from contributed service faculty, local retirees and temporary employees; one $5,000 matching gift; and $24,820 from the Web-based silent auction).

 

The popular 2014 online auction set a record with proceeds split equally among the following five United Way-funded Evanston organizations: Children’s Advocacy Center of North and Northwestern Cook County; Housing Options for the Mentally Ill; Infant Welfare Society of Evanston, Northwest CASA (Center Against Sexual Assault); and Peer Services, an organization that works to eliminate substance use and the problems it causes individuals, families and communities.

 

Auction items included gift cards of varying denominations to local businesses and restaurants; admission tickets for four to the Adler Planetarium; iPads; a 12-speed mountain bike; an autographed Dallas Beeler baseball, courtesy of the Chicago Cubs; two game tickets to a Chicago Wolves game; one-night stays at various Chicago area hotels; a VIP tour and gift package, courtesy of the Lagunitas Brewing Co.; a six-month membership to the McGaw YMCA; an annual membership to the Northwestern University Crown Sports and Aquatics Center; and more. To view a full list of silent auction donors and items, visit www.northwestern.edu/uservices/uw/prizes.html.

 

Campaign participation rate prizes were awarded to the following top four campaign areas:

 

• The $1,500 first place winner was Controller 1 – Student Accounts and Loans, with an 89.74 percent participation rate, which was led by campaign area manager Sabrina Flowers, assistant director, Office of Student Accounts.

 

• The $1,000 second place prize winner was the Office of Human Resources, with an 80 percent participation rate, led by campaign area managers Sarah Shepherd, administrative coordinator, and Steven Adams, compensation administrator.

 

• The $750 third place winner was Alumni Relations and Development, with a 70.70 percent participation rate, led by campaign area managers Sarah Yost, assistant director, gift planning, and Erini Kikilis, program assistant, Office of Alumni Relations and Development.

 

• The $500 fourth place winner was Facilities Management, FM -- D & C Planning, with a 54.20 percent participation rate, led by campaign area managers Steve Kindrick, manager of human resources, and Jennifer Sloane, executive assistant.

 

Facilities Management also won the “most improved” award of $250 for increasing their participation this year by 21.94 percentage points.

 

For more information on this year’s United Way campaign, visit www.northwestern.edu/unitedway and

 

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