Halfway into the 2019 Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC), three senior management areas have gone above and beyond and already reached their fundraising goals: Office of the President, which includes Athletics; Dean of University Libraries; and Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer.

CVC, an annual workplace giving campaign, gives state employees the opportunity to raise and donate money to one or more of approximately 1,000 participating charities in their communities and across the commonwealth. Charities range from health and human services to animal welfare, from environmental conservation to medical research, and everything in between.  

The first senior management area to reach their goal was the Office of the President. Carmela Smith, the CVC steering team member for the Virginia Tech Athletic Department, said they do not host any special events or fundraisers other than donating items, and the HokieBird, to the kick-off event on Sept. 30, but they do offer incentives for every employee to turn in a pledge card.

Whether or not employees choose to donate is up to them, but the incentive is a big one.

“All units within the department that have 100 percent participation in card-turn-in by the deadline are eligible for a complimentary breakfast delivery from Panera for the entire unit,” said Smith. “We have one drawing a day for an entire week.”

As to what athletics attributes their success, Smith said, “We just have wonderful employees who are always willing to help others in need.”

On the other side of campus, Dean of University Libraries has also reached their goal. Edward Lener, the CVC steering team chair for the department and this year’s CVC chair, said the best way to encourage employees to donate is through communicating openly about what CVC is and the progress of the department in email and in monthly meetings.

“With many new employees, it is particularly important to let them know just what CVC is all about,” said Lener. “We also encourage everyone to take the time to find one or more charities on the list that is meaningful to them personally and then designate their gift accordingly.”

This year, University Libraries has set an internal goal to reach 200 percent of their goal. Last year they came close at 192 percent.

As for their success, Lener said, “I would attribute our success in large part to the strong tradition of service among those who work in the University Libraries.”

The third senior management area to reach their goal is the Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer. Nancy Meacham, the steering team representative, said Dwight Shelton, vice president for finance and chief financial officer emeritus, who retired earlier this fall, made a point to email his departments about CVC and bring up the importance of donating during leadership team meetings.

“We attribute our success to the dedication of the department representatives, innovative activities that vary from year to year, and fundraising events around food, which are always positive,” said Meacham. “There is clearly a degree of enthusiasm as well as healthy competition among the departments.”

The Division of Human Resources, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, and Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine have also exceeded their fundraising goals.

CVC pumpkin contest at VTCSOM
Offices at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine went head to head with a pumpkin carving contest. Votes were made by donating money for your favorite pumpkin. The Research Domain was the winner and their employees selected Brain Injury Services of SWVA as the recipient of the $365 collected. Courtesy of Pam Adams.

Last year’s campaign surpassed the $375,000 goal, bringing in more than $380,000. This year the goal is set higher at $390,000. This year’s campaign will run until Dec. 13.

Since 2010, Virginia Tech employees have donated more than $2.8 million to local charities in the New River Valley and across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

No donation is too small. Employees can donate through an online payroll deduction, choosing either a one-time deduction or a 24-pay period deduction. Donations should be made through the CVC website. Cash and checks are also acceptable. Pledge cards are available for those who do not have online access.

CVC is administered by the Division of Human Resources and led by a steering team made up of university department representatives. Questions or assistance should be directed to department representatives. More information can be found on the CVC website.

- Written by Ariadne Manikas, Class of 2020