A message from Chancellor Zeppos about giving to Vanderbilt and the communityby Kara Furlong | Sep. 22, 2011, 11:01 AM
Vanderbilt is a “giving” institution. Through providing access to a distinctive educational experience to many talented young students, through discovery that gives meaning to life and through research that leads to cures for human maladies, we serve humanity and seek to respond to its most basic and complex needs.
We also give generously to those in need both in the greater community and to our own needs as a university. You have demonstrated your generosity through the Vanderbilt Community Giving Campaign, Partners in Health and the Faculty-Staff Campaign. This year, we are pleased to introduce a new – and hopefully better and easier – way to give to Vanderbilt and to the community through an initiative called Vanderbilt Gives.
Many of our faculty and staff members have expressed a desire to reduce the number of communications soliciting charitable contributions. Vanderbilt Gives combines the traditional internal campaigns of the Vanderbilt Community Giving Campaign, Partners In Health and the Faculty-Staff Campaign into one convenient online location for employee giving. All of the same giving options supported in the past will continue to be available through Vanderbilt Gives; it simply will be consolidated in one location and will be accessible during the Open Enrollment period Oct. 1-14. Additionally, Vanderbilt Gives allows for charitable employee giving to go paperless, making for a more environmentally friendly method of making contributions.
Our community partner organizations – Community Health Charities of Tennessee, Community Shares, Nashville Public Education Foundation and United Way of Metropolitan Nashville – are working to address some of the most critical needs in Middle Tennessee. Our philanthropic gifts to agencies through Community Giving support programs such as United Way of Metropolitan Nashville’s neighborhood focus area. The family resource centers funded through United Way assisted more than 28,000 people in local neighborhoods last year by addressing issues of high poverty rates, unemployment, underemployment, crime, single-parent households and lower education levels. Another community partner focused solely on education is the Nashville Public Education Foundation, which specifically seeks donations to support and enrich the Metro Nashville Public Schools system. These are two of hundreds of agencies you can designate in Community Giving.
Vanderbilt employees also have given generously each year to our own Faculty-Staff Campaign. Some may ask why give back to Vanderbilt? Because more than 62 percent of undergraduate students receive some form of financial assistance. A student’s undergraduate tuition covers 70 percent of their educational experience, but tuition alone does not fully fund all of the vital elements that comprise a great education. In addition, our great medical center provides the overwhelming majority of uncompensated care in our region. This is an important service, but it comes at a significant cost. As a nonprofit institution, Vanderbilt relies on the charitable gifts and generosity of others to help support the work and the groundbreaking, life-saving research done at the university and medical center. Employees can designate the university or medical center program that means most to them as the recipient of their gift.
Through Vanderbilt Gives, we have the opportunity to show our continued support in making a difference in the lives of our neighbors and supporting the work of our colleagues. Vanderbilt stands readily by to help in all situations, including the daily lives of so many. Every day we make a difference in the lives of our students, our patients and our research. I ask you to support the local charity or Vanderbilt program that is most meaningful to you.
Thank you for your thoughtful consideration and generosity. It is the giving nature of each of you in your daily work and financial support that solidifies Vanderbilt as a world-renowned learning and care-giving institution. You can find additional details about the new Vanderbilt Gives initiative at vanderbilt.edu/vanderbilt-gives.
Nicholas S. Zeppos
Kara Furlong, (615) 322-NEWS