The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education District 4 recently recognized the University of Houston-Victoria’s annual employee giving program “All for One – One for All” with a Grand award, the top honor.
The program won in the “Annual Giving – Most Improved Award” category during the CASE District IV annual awards ceremony in Austin.
“The programs that win awards represent model programs that other schools can emulate,” said Anne Scott, 2010 CASE awards chair. “It is our way of recognizing true innovation and passing along good ideas.”
The All for One campaign started in 2006 as a good idea with one big purpose in mind.
“It was a way to help everyone understand that when it comes to fundraising, we are all in this together,” said Robin Cadle, UHV director of stewardship and planned giving, and coordinator of the All for One program. “Because of our exceptional staff and faculty, I have to say it’s been a wonderful success.”
In 2005, faculty and staff members were given an opportunity to give during an ice cream social where they were asked to make a donation. About 79 people gave a total of $9,700.
“We thought we had to come up with a better way to get the message across to people,” said Dick Phillips, then associate vice president of University Advancement and now associate vice chancellor of the University of Houston System at Sugar Land and Cinco Ranch. “We were talking about the concept of trying to get everybody involved at a level they could afford.”
Cadle came up with the goal to spread the concept of shared responsibility for success through a campaign that would encourage those who could afford it to give back 1 percent of their annual wages and get each faculty and staff member to donate some amount, Phillips said.
“All for One” refers to everyone donating for UHV, and “One for All” refers to those who give 1 percent for the benefit of everyone.
In designing the program, Cadle learned that many employees wanted to donate to something specific. In response, department excellence funds were started so employees could give back to their divisions for scholarships and other beneficial purposes.
The program began with UHV President Tim Hudson leading the way by pledging to be the first 1-percent donor, followed by the entire University Advancement staff. Hudson challenged the President’s Cabinet to follow and even found university funds to match employee donations.
The campaign quickly garnered the support of the President’s Cabinet and the President’s Regional Advisory Board.
Cadle went with then-Staff Council Chairman Randy Faulk to visit the different departments and encouraged their colleagues to participate in the program.
“We found that the staff members really understood the value of giving back and were ready to do their part,” said Faulk, user services administrator in the UHV Information Technology Department.
By 2009, the program had seen tremendous improvements, growing to $42,777 donated and 58 percent participation, with 42 percent of employees donating 1 percent of their annual salaries.
“It was way more successful than we ever thought it would be,” Phillips said. “Robin really deserves credit for implementing the program and making it a success.”
Just to add a bit of fun to the campaign, Cadle played on the “Three Musketeers” theme by buying hats and taking pictures of 1 percent donors wearing them while standing in front of the “All for One” campaign logo.
CASE, the premier organization for professionals who work to raise financial support for educational institutions, took notice of the tremendous rate of growth in just four years in UHV’s program when it chose the university for the award.
The strong involvement carries other benefits, too.
“The rising percentage of faculty and staff who participate is very important,” Cadle said. “Any time we apply for a grant from an external agency or foundation, the application will ask how well the faculty and staff support the university. The higher the percentage is, the better chance we have of getting funding approval.”
The award brought high praise from Hudson.
“Whenever I wear my ‘1’ lapel pen, I get asked about it, which gives me a chance to talk about the dedication and commitment that our people have to the progress of our students,” he said. “This award is a nice confirmation of the fact that we have truly exceptional people working at UHV. I’d like to thank Robin, our advancement staff and everyone in the UHV family for his or her outstanding support of our educational mission.”