January 12, 2007

Giving campaign vaults past goal

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Giving campaign vaults past goal

Results are in, and thanks to the efforts of Vanderbilt employees, the 2006 Community Giving Campaign raised an all-time high of $1,001,032, exceeding the original goal of $825,000.

“We couldn't have reached these new heights without our nearly 400 dedicated department volunteers who used their creativity and plain old hard work to encourage employees to participate in this worthwhile campaign,” said Kathleen Corbitt, director of internal campaigns. “They worked tirelessly and did a phenomenal job.”

Steven Gabbe, M.D., dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, chaired the 2006 Community Giving Campaign. He was a driving force behind the effort's theme of “Your Gift, Your Choice,” which emphasized individual involvement and the flexibility to choose specific charities that seemed to strike a chord with the more than 4,600 employees who pledged.

“We are delighted at the response from the Vanderbilt family,” said Gabbe. “I feel that every one of our employees got the message and realized that together we can make a huge difference in the lives of so many of our fellow Middle Tennesseans.

“I hope everyone is proud of what we accomplished together for our community,” said Gabbe. “The $1 million mark is a phenomenal level to achieve and will allow us to reach out to more people than ever.”

In addition to the overall generosity of employees, organizers did a few things differently last year. The campaign included several training sessions to educate and better motivate volunteers the week prior to the campaign kickoff. The year's effort also re-instituted online giving. Previously, there were approximately 300 online gifts compared to this year's 1,700-plus online gifts. Volunteer feedback from years past also helped refine the giving system.

Money raised will benefit hundreds of agencies in Middle Tennessee that belong to one of four federations designated by Vanderbilt's campaign: Community Health Charities of Tennessee; Community Shares; Nashville Alliance for Public Education; and the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville.