In keeping with the axiom that slow and steady wins the race, the 2002 Johns Hopkins United Way Campaign, which got off to a bit of a sluggish start, stands poised to proudly cross the finish line. As of Dec. 19--the official last day for pledges to be counted toward the overall United Way of Central Maryland Campaign's 2002 goal--Hopkins had come exceedingly close to meeting its overall goal of $2,344,500, and campaign leadership said they expect to meet and surpass the overall goal in the coming weeks, as late-arriving and additional contributions filter in.
To date, the combined contributions from those at the university, Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Applied Physics Laboratory total $2,295,221, an 11 percent increase from last year's total. Money raised at the School of Advanced International Studies is reported to the Washington Capital Area United Way Campaign.
The increase of Hopkins donations, however, was not enough to offset the decrease in the overall United Way of Central Maryland campaign, which is projected to be $2 million below last year's total of $45 million. The organization attributes the decrease to a turbulent economy--which includes a downturn in the stock market and recent corporate layoffs--and an increase in designated giving, which collectively created a difficult environment in which to raise money for health and human services.
Ilene Busch-Vishniac, chair of the university's United Way Campaign and dean of the Whiting School of Engineering, said that in light of the regional shortcomings, the Hopkins community should be reminded that pledges are welcome year-round, and that as one of the largest employers in Baltimore and Central Maryland, Johns Hopkins has a responsibility to give back to the community.
"When times get bad, we need to dig deeper as there are more people in need," Busch-Vishniac said. "And those of us who are comfortable need to make a greater sacrifice because we are the most able to do that."
Looking toward the brighter side, Busch-Vishniac said she was "elated" that the university was able to exceed its goal and raise $1,104,123, a 10 percent increase from last year's final report.
"It was a difficult year for philanthropy, so to have raised so much money was absolutely wonderful," she said.
Of special note in this year's campaign, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians exceeded its goal by 66 percent, raising $49,000. The School of Professional Studies in Business and Education exceeded its goal by 9 percent, raising $34,232, with more than 60 percent of personnel participating. And overall, Johns Hopkins institutions had 106 new leadership members, a designation for those who donate $1,000 or more.
APL raised $602,000, the second highest total in its history. However, the Lab fell short of its goal of $650,000, which, according to Ned Aull, the Lab's campaign chair, was due in large part to the recent scandals associated with the United Way of the National Capital Area, including the circumstances surrounding the resignation of its chief executive officer. Aull said that APL, located in Laurel, Md., felt the effects of the scandal more than other Hopkins institutions due to its close proximity to Washington.
"But in light of everything, we had a fantastic year," Aull said. "Nothing could truly quash the spirit of giving."