Since the start of the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC), employees across Virginia Tech have been generously donating to charities all over the state of Virginia. Even though a majority of donations come from employee contributions, some senior management areas have used a few creative tactics that allowed them to successfully and quickly exceed their goals for this year’s campaign.

From hosting cutest pet contests and ice cream socials to employing communication strategies and shameless bribing, the College of Veterinary Medicine, University Libraries, the Office of the President, and Vice President of Human Resources have all exceeded their targeted goals.

“It’s really important to contribute to the local community and make a difference, so exceeding the goal is always the interest,” said Jessica Pharis, front desk administrative support for the Division of Human Resources. “We want to contribute to the max.”

The CVC is a workplace-giving program that allows state employees to designate a financial gift to any of more than 1,000 participating charities.

The Division of Human Resources, which is at 199 percent of its goal, held a cutest pet contest where employees could pay to vote for the most adorable pet in the office, and all the proceeds went to the Humane Society of Montgomery County. They will also host a potluck lunch for all employees in the North End Center, where lunch combos will cost $6 with all the proceeds going to Feeding America Southwest Virginia.

Additionally, the College of Veterinary Medicine saw great success with its annual ice cream social. For five years, the college has hosted an ice cream social, where employees can donate money but also have a chance to socialize with their fellow colleagues while enjoying a delicious treat. This year, the college doubled the amount of money it raised last year from the event with proceeds split between the Humane Society of Montgomery County, Feeding America Southwest Virginia, and the Salvation Army. The College of Veterinary Medicine will also hold a chili cook-off event later this month to continue raising money for its campaign.

According to Richard Hiller, hospital administrator for the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, they are trying to double their proposed goal by the end of the campaign and are currently at 121 percent of their goal.

“The biggest hurdle is making people aware and getting the word out as best as we can,” said Hiller. “The end goal is the dollar amount, but the secondary goal is getting participation up.”

Some tactics that areas have used to increase participation and meet their goals include consistent communication with employees and a little bit of bribery. The Office of the President, which includes the Athletics Department, communicates weekly with employees, giving them updates on each department’s donation totals. At the end of the challenge, there is a drawing for a free Panera breakfast for the areas that have 100 percent participation. They are currently at 180 percent of their goal.

“It’s amazing how people react when they see other areas that are 100 percent complete and theirs is not,” said Carmela Smith, assistant to the athletic director for Virginia Tech Athletics.

While some areas found success in hosting fun events and activities, University Libraries was able to reach its goal by depending on the generosity of its employees. University Libraries is attempting to almost double its goal for this year through employee contributions and is currently at 123 percent of its goal, according to Edward Lener, associate director for collection management.

“The campaign encompasses such a range of good causes that there is something meaningful for everyone, and the people in this field are typically into service and are very generous,” said Lener.

Whether it be through events and activities or individual contributions, there is still plenty of time left to give; this year’s campaign will run until Dec. 14. No donation is too small, and they will all help reach the targeted goal. Employees can donate through payroll deduction, choosing either a one-time deduction or a 24-pay period deduction. To contribute to the campaign, donations can be made through the CVC website. Cash and checks are also accepted, and pledge cards are available for those who do not have online access.

To stay up to date on each senior management area’s progress or for additional information about the campaign, visit the CVC website.

Written by Katie Magnant, Class of 2019