20, No. 6, Sept. 21, 2000
UI employees continue tradition of
A famed aerialist
once walked a tightrope across Niagara Falls in a gusty wind. Needless
to say, he was relieved to finally reach the other side where several
people were gathered to congratulate him, among them a man with a wheelbarrow.
"I believe you could walk back across pushing this wheelbarrow,"
the fan told him.
The aerialist was flattered but told the man firmly that he was just
glad to have made it across once. That answer didnt suit the fan,
though, and he persisted.
"I know you can do it if you try," he kept insisting.
Finally, the tightrope walker relented. "You really believe in
me, dont you?" he asked.
"Oh, yes, I do," said the fan.
"Okay," the aerialist said, "get in the wheelbarrow and
The 15 organizations representing more than 400 charities that benefit
from UIs Campus Charitable Fund Drive each year are walking a
tightrope and making steady progress toward improving peoples
lives. With the help of thousands of employees at UIs Urbana-Champaign
campus, they have found the financial means to provide needed services
and supplies to the people of this community, state, nation and the
Like the audience for the aerialists act of daring, we all applaud
the accomplishments of these agencies. And, like the zealous fan, we
are sure they can accomplish much more and must decide how far were
willing to go to assist them.
The Campus Charitable Fund Drive has an amazing record, surpassing its
goals each year. In fact, last year the drive had its most ambitious
goal ever $800,000 and proceeded to smash all previous
records by generating donations in excess of $953,000. This campus can
take a great deal of pride in providing that kind of support for its
But when the giving is so consistently generous, how can we hope to
improve our campaign?
This year, the CCFD monetary goal is $875,000. But a second goal is
to increase the number of faculty and staff members contributing.
In terms of charitable giving, the Illinois campus reflects a national
trend. Independent Sector, the respected national not-for-profit organization
that measures and encourages philanthropy and volunteering, reports
that while the size of donations is increasing, the percentage of U.S.
households that give to charity is decreasing. Independent Sector found
that in 1991, 72.2 percent of households gave to at least one charity,
with an average household donation of $899. By 1998, the average household
donation had increased to $1,075, but the percentage of households that
gave had fallen to 70.1.
Over the same period, the Campus Charitable Fund Drive has seen the
percentage of employees donating drop from 28 percent in 1991 to 22
percent in 1998. While we are thankful to all that participate, we hope
that all employees find in this years Campus Charitable Fund Drive
an easy way to join this effort at building up our community and our
"I am honored and delighted to chair the Campus Charitable Fund
Drive a second time," said Kathleen Conlin, dean of the College
of Fine and Applied Arts. "The ability of campus faculty and staff
members to contribute in meaningfully supportive ways to the well-being
of our community provides deep satisfaction. I urge all our colleagues
to work with the fund drive this year in addressing real community needs
while enjoying genuine collegiality."
This years CCFD theme -- U & I: Caring and Sharing in 2000
-- underscores the value of each individuals contribution, just
as it highlights the importance of the UIs good citizenship in
Champaign County. As we share our resources with the agencies best equipped
to help our neighbors, we also share the heartwarming experience of
community. Please give careful consideration to supporting one or more
of these agencies with a gift to the Campus Charitable Fund Drive.