Funding initiative encourages faculty, staff participation

News Reporter

Texas State Family Campaign officials are ramping up the program by reaching out to more faculty and staff in hopes of expanding fundraising efforts for the university.

The Family Campaign is now beginning its main push, which will end in mid-February. The campaign allows faculty and staff to support Texas State by donating to the university, said Ted McKinnon, assistant vice president for university advancement and development.

“The gift could be considered anything from joining an organization, such as the Alumni Association, or contributing to or making a new scholarship,” McKinnon said.

The main difference between the Family Campaign and other efforts is that keeping track of how much money is raised is not the priority, McKinnon said. The main focus is on making the participation level the highest possible, he said.

The official campaign is in its third year, said Barbara Breier, vice president for University Advancement.

Faculty and staff are asked to donate an amount they feel is appropriate if they want to contribute to the effort, since raising the highest amount of money is not the main goal, Breier said.

“Each year the participation level throughout the university has grown,” Breier said. “Last year it was very successful with 44 percent participation from our faculty and staff.”

Breier said the university hopes to get a higher percentage of participation this year than in previous ones.

Faculty and staff have the option to decide which departments or projects to fund with their monetary gifts, McKinnon said. If they do not specify where they wish their money to go, the funds will be put into the Family Campaign scholarship
account, he said.

“During the campaign, the current faculty and staff are encouraged to donate, but we also target the retired faculty and staff members,” McKinnon said. “The money that is raised mainly goes to scholarships for current or future students in some way or somehow.”

Since the majority of the funding is put toward scholarships, it is likely a professor who donated to the campaign will end up supporting some of their students’ educations in some way, Breier said.

Campaign participation is important because when Texas State officials seek outside funding from foundations and corporations, business leaders prefer to see that the university’s employees care to support their campus, Breier said.

A member of each department is appointed to inform that department’s faculty and staff of the campaign and encourage them to participate, McKinnon said.

Shannon Fitzpatrick, attorney for students, said she has been appointed to monitor the Dean of Students Office this year.

“Every group is assigned a certain area to watch over about 20 people,” Fitzpatrick said. “I have realized the main key to get people to donate is to make it fun.”

One of the main obstacles is trying to get people involved in the campaign, Fitzpatrick said.

“Scholarships are not just handed down from the hand of Zeus,” Fitzpatrick said. “They have to come from someone who believes in the university, the department, the person running the department and most of all, the students.”