Fundraising campaign targets employees

Campaign looks to raise $1 million in donations to Queen’s from professors, retirees and staff

Monica Stewart, co-chair for the annual Campus Community Appeal, says much of the $1 million raised during last year’s campaign was donated to campus mental health resources.
Monica Stewart, co-chair for the annual Campus Community Appeal, says much of the $1 million raised during last year’s campaign was donated to campus mental health resources.
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An annual fundraising campaign, Campus Community Appeal, is aiming to raise $1 million by the end of April. All donations are put towards campus and student resources.

Campaign staff co-chair Monica Stewart said it’s the only University appeal campaign that collects donations from staff, faculty and retirees.

“People can donate to all kinds of different purposes,” she said. “Many people donate to something that’s close to their

own department.” Last year over 700 staff, faculty and retirees contributed to the campaign. Since it began in March, more than 610 donations have been made.

Stewart said donors have the option of giving to specific funds but many choose to donate to a general pool. Every year the University decides how to spend this money, Stewart said.

Last year the appeal matched this year’s goal of $1 million, with a majority of the general pool’s money being channeled into mental health resources at Queen’s.

“People who work here see the students as the reason to be here,” Stewart said.

She added that when volunteers approach potential donors and are told ‘No,’ it’s often because they already donate to other organizations, or don’t think it’s an important cause.

“Sometimes people might say, ‘Well I work here and I give a lot of extra time so I don’t feel that I need to give,’” she said. “Other people say I really want to give something that ‘I feel strongly about and I might as well be doing it in my workplace.’”

Kathy Beers, a staff member at the Queen’s University International Centre, said she’s been giving to the campaign for the past 15 years, specifically to a fund that goes towards student scholarships and bursaries.

“For a lot of students, despite what people might think about Queen’s … it is a challenge to be here,” she said. “I think it’s very important and probably is a growing need.”

Beers said every year her mid-range contribution is deducted from her payroll, so she barely notices it’s gone. She declined to disclose the specific amount she donates.

“My side of giving is to things like awards and bursaries rather to the bricks and mortars,” she said. “I’d like to do something that could have a more immediate effect.” Bob Burge, another co-chair for the fundraising campaign, said he thought getting involved in the campaign would be a good way to get to know more staff.

“What I’m really looking for are volunteers to help me to get the message out on why it’s so important for staff to contribute to their work environment,” he said. “Everyone who works here at Queen’s is very dedicated to their jobs and to students. I see every contact a student has with a staff [or] faculty member as being very important.”

Burge said staff and faculty are in a unique situation because they know where money should be spent at Queen’s.

“We see the holes, and where can we give our small and moderate resources to,” he said.

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