The university's 2008 United Way of Central
Maryland campaign, which kicks off today, will be
shorter, greener and more imperative than ever before,
according to campaign leadership.
Nick Jones, the Benjamin T. Rome Dean of the Whiting
School of Engineering and the
university's United Way chair, said that the uncertainty of
the times and the economic challenges that
lie ahead make participation in the 2008 campaign
"All of us face much uncertainty, but we need to
remember that there are people out there who
are struggling already. They are in need now, without
question," Jones said. "I feel that this is one of
those times when our Johns Hopkins community steps forward
as the leadership institution that it is.
People will look to us to set an example. I have great
faith that people here at Johns Hopkins — even in
these difficult financial times — will step up and
support the United Way and what it represents."
Noticeably absent from this year's campaign will be
the traditional pledge packets that have
been either mailed home or sent to employees' campus
mailboxes. In keeping with the university's
Sustainability Initiative, the campaign has gone mostly
Employees may contribute through a secure and
confidential electronic system, which can be
web.jhu.edu/uw. To access the system, employees will
use their JHED ID and
Those who would rather pledge by paper can still
download a form from the United Way site or
contact their department coordinator.
The combined university/Johns Hopkins Medicine
financial goal for the 2008 campaign is
In 2007, Johns Hopkins raised $2,058,166, a total for
contributions from all university divisions
except SAIS, whose donations are reported to the National
Capital Area campaign in Washington,
D.C., and the Applied Physics Laboratory, which no longer
reports its financial goals and results.
The university's campaign, which will continue until
Dec. 12, will be rolled out by its
"ambassadors" — selected Johns Hopkins employees who
will educate others about United Way and
answer questions. The campaign will also feature several
e-mails reminding people to pledge online and
of campaign-related events.
In keeping with recent years, the Johns Hopkins
Medicine campaign will be very condensed. It
runs from Oct. 13 to 24.
Joanne Pollak, chair of the JHM campaign and vice
president and general counsel for Johns
Hopkins Medicine, said that she wants to build on last
year's strong effort. In 2007, Johns Hopkins
Medicine raised $1.7 million, a 20 percent increase from
the previous year. Participation also grew
significantly, with 5,605 new donors and 125 pledging at
the leadership level of $1,000 or more.
Pollak, who also chaired last year's JHM campaign,
echoed Jones' call for action to support
"This year's Johns Hopkins Medicine United Way
Campaign comes at a time of economic
uncertainty for everyone but especially those in our
community who look to United Way for help,"
Pollak said. "This year more than ever we need to continue
JHM's generous support of United Way of
Employees will be able to designate all or part of
their donation to the Johns Hopkins
Neighborhood Fund, now in its second year.
The fund supports agencies that serve communities in
close proximity to Johns Hopkins
campuses and have a strong relationship with the university
and its employees. It was created to
assist community-oriented organizations and agencies that
may not currently receive United Way
In its inaugural year, the Johns Hopkins Neighborhood
Fund raised $148,830, augmented by a
$20,000 donation from the President's Office. To be
considered, nonprofit organizations must be
associated with Johns Hopkins through employee and/or
institutional involvement and deliver services
to the communities near Johns Hopkins campuses. A committee
representing a cross-section of Johns
Hopkins employees oversees the allocation of the fund.
Organizations that received 2007 grants were ACORN,
Biotechnical Institute of Maryland,
Charles Village Recreation League, Children of the World
Co-Op, Civic Works, Heart's Place Shelter,
Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition,
People's Homesteading Group, the Community
School and the Family Tree. The grants addressed specific
requests from the groups for efforts such
as after-school programs, community beautification
projects, a homeless shelter and a homeownership
and foreclosure-prevention fair.
Jeff Pratt, director of Faculty, Staff and Retiree
Programs, the office that oversees the JHU
United Way campaign, said that grant applications will be
accepted for the Neighborhood Fund today
through December 12. Pratt said that he hopes the
Neighborhood Fund is able to expand on the
number of organizations that receive funding and build upon
the success of last year.
Employees will still be able to donate all or part of
their gift to United Way of Central
Maryland, a specific agency or one or more of three new
"Live United" program areas: education,
income, and health and safety.
The "Live United" initiative also asks people to
participate in United Way more holistically, not
to just give but also to advocate on behalf of its member
organizations and to volunteer their time at
To make it easier to volunteer, United Way of Central
Maryland has created an online center,
shareyourself.org, to find or post volunteer opportunities
from across the region.
In connection with the "Live United" theme, the JHM
campaign has made several videos of
employees who have volunteered for or been helped by United
Way organizations. To view them, go to:
Among the events highlighting this year's campaign
will be a JHU Community Block Party, which
will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday,
Oct. 21, on Homewood's Levering Plaza. It will
feature food, games, a silent auction and representatives
of United Way agencies. For admission,
participants need to bring a completed pledge form, receipt
from an online pledge or a $5 donation.
Other important activities are a Chili Cook-Off,
Friday, Nov. 7, and a university Day of Caring,
Saturday, Nov. 15.
The campaigns will feature department- and
office-level events that seek to educate Johns
Hopkins employees on the work of the Neighborhood Fund as
well as United Way of Central Maryland,
which supports human service agencies in Baltimore City and
its five surrounding counties.
For more information on the Johns Hopkins campaigns,
go to www.jhu.edu/unitedway or contact
Jeff Pratt in the Office of Faculty, Staff and Retiree
firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-516-6060.