Calling all Real Eagles
Just 18 percent of faculty, staff on monthly deduction plan
Published: Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Updated: Thursday, October 22, 2009 09:10
"Real Eagles Give Back," says the logo of the N.C. Central University Foundation.
And the foundation sees the NCCU's centennial celebration as an opportunity to find a few more real Eagles.
As part of its centennial initiative the foundation is turning to faculty and staff with an automatic payroll deduction plan entitled "Make it Maroon."
"The centennial evokes strong emotions in anyone associated with NCCU, we will turn 100 only once," said Douglas Yopp, director of Annual Giving.
"We hope to use this most important year in our history to educate everyone about the need to support NCCU and to let them know how they can go about doing so."
The economic downturn has hit the state and its universities hard. State funding to NCCU has been reduced by 10 percent.
Contributions to the "Make it Maroon" campaign are used to fund merit and need-based scholarships, to attract and retain top faculty, to help with college readiness programs, and to renew and beautify the campus.
Currently, 257 NCCU employees out of more than 1,600, make monthly contributions.
Last fiscal year 300 faculty and staff contributed more than $130,000. Total participation was 18 percent.
"I think the economy last year had a lot to do with the low participation percentage," said Ainsley Owens, president of the Greensboro chapter of N.C. Central University's Alumni Association, Inc.
The goal of fiscal year 2010, is to have 50 percent of NCCU's employees enrolled in "Make it Maroon."
The Shepard Society is another initiative within "Make it Maroon."
It recognizes donors during the current fiscal year, regardless of the amount they give.
The Student Campaign educates students on the importance of supporting the University.
Alumni are the largest group of contributing supporters.
"In an effort to prepare our next generation of alumni, we need to educate them on why NCCU needs their support while they are attending," said Yopp.
"Many students are receiving some financial assistance, and approximately 95 percent of students qualify for assistance," said Yopp.
"If our students learn now that this assistance is provided by alumni, like they will one day become, hopefully they will make a small gift now and also give back after they graduate."
To increase donor participation and show appreciation to current donors, "Make it Maroon" has partnered with NCCU Dining/Sodexho to offer donors a coupon for a free Freshens smoothie.
"Some people may not give because they think they have to give a certain amount. We encourage everyone to donate at a level that is comfortable with them," said Yopp.
"The amount is negotiable, hopefully the act will not be."