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It's Time to Give

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Dear CLA Colleagues,
At the 2010 CLA State of the College address, Dean Parente encouraged CLA faculty and staff to participate in the 2010 Community Fund Drive. Each year the month of October is set aside so we can focus on those in our community who are in need. Through the CFD process we have the opportunity to not only support our surrounding community but even some of our current and future students. As this year's CLA lead volunteers, we invite you to join us in supporting our local community. Please take just a few moments to review the following important information about this year's CFD:

What's the Community Fund Drive?
The Community Fund Drive (CFD) is a campus-wide effort to make it easy for faculty and staff to give "a little or a lot" to our community through respected, well-run organizations that support social services, education, arts, and health.

Here is just one inspiring story:
"My goal is to become a lawyer and a judge," says Minnesota resident A. Zachary. "Support from the generous contributors to the United Negro College Fund has been a strong instrument that has kept me, and others like me, confident and on track. You have proved the old saying 'It takes a village to raise a child' to be true. On behalf of my parents and myself, thank you for your generous support of the United Negro college Fund."

What's needed?
Grassroots volunteers. The success of the fund drive depends on unit and department volunteers, who team up with the college lead volunteers for the month of October, to communicate with their colleagues about the fund drive. Grassroots volunteers are vital to raising awareness and answering questions about the campaign--research shows it's the most effective way of increasing participation.

Returning and first-time donors. Without the generous donations of people like you, many support services would cease to exist. Last year, CLA saw a participation rate of just over 30% with a total gift of $85,000. The university-wide CFD theme this year is "double." For CLA to reach this goal, we need to increase our participation rate to 60%, which in turn would hopefully allow us to reach a total gift of over $100,000 for the first time!

The need is critical this year. Those of us who are employed and have our basic needs met are blessed; although our excess is not what it used to be, the majority of us can do something to help those who are considerably less fortunate. Even a small donation equivalent to foregoing a cup of coffee or preparing lunch or dinner at home instead of eating out can make a difference. Just a dollar or two each pay period can add up to significant sums when combined with contributions from your colleagues.

What's next?
It's time to sign up for the Community Fund Drive! You probably already give to charitable organizations; the good news is you may find the organization you normally support among the participation options. A simple search on the CFD website could reveal this. If your preferred organization is not on the list it is easy to add it. Also, save the date: CFD Chili Cook-Off Thursday, October 28, 11:30 - 12:30 on the 2nd floor of Johnston Hall. More info to come.

Please consider what part you can play in the 2010 Community Fund Drive. As your Lead Volunteer Team, we welcome your questions and ideas, and we hope you will consider joining us in this worthy cause as a volunteer and/or donor. For more information about the charitable federations and specific agencies that CFD benefits, please visit http://www1.umn.edu/cfd.

Thank you for your generosity and support.

CLA CFD Lead Volunteer Team:
Kaylee Highstrom, CLA Stewardship Coordinator
Walt Jacobs, Associate Professor and Chair, African American & African Studies
Sean Wiseman, Coordinator, Student Services

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