UW Today

January 26, 2011

Combined Fund Drive 2010 ends with record $2 million-plus

Once again, despite tough times, the UW community has stepped forward to help others in a record-breaking way. The 2010 Combined Fund Drive, which ended Dec. 10, raised a record $2,044,404.

“Im ecstatic about the campaign,” said Kerri Everly, UWCFD campaign manager. “Our goal was to break $2 million and we exceeded our goal.” She said the UWs CFD fundraising represents 36 percent of the total raised throughout the state of Washington. “We are one of the few institutions that either met last years total or had an increase again this year.”

Northwest Harvest was UW employees favorite charity to support this year, as it has been for several years, Everly said. And this year, the UW Foundation and its programs climbed to the second place spot. And as every year, UW donors were generous to the nearby University District Food Bank. In fact, Everly said, giving seemed particularly strong this year in the area of food and necessities.

“It was a tough year this year but people are really still supporting their beloved charities. That makes it even more special, that the UW community stepped up in that way.”

Across the campuses, UW units raised money for the CFD and UW Today visited occasionally along the way. There were charity fairs and potlucks, performances and much more as folks gathered to give of their time and money.

UW staffers helped out at the University District Food Bank and supported the battle against pancreatic cancer. They held a coin toss to raise money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, supported the training of assistance dogs to help others and gave to an agency that helps low-income families with needed baby supplies.

And then there was the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which applied its talents to the question of maximizing donations. Researcher Mollie Hogan wrote that the institute held several events, “but the best was a food drive.”

She wrote that CFD organizers divided the staff into teams and challenged each to bring in as much food as they could. “But given that we are the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, quantity was not enough! Organizer Abie Flaxman “came up with the AdHoc Food Quality Index (AFQI), which was based on the amount of saturated fat, protein and vitamins in any single donated item.” A random sample was taken from the food raised by each team, she explained. “The AFQI was calculated, then that was multiplied by the number of donated items of the team.” Hogan, who said she was not among the organizers, said, “It was quite brilliant, I thought, and definitely hugely increased participation and how much food IHME staff contributed (as well as the quality of the food).”

You can learn more about the Combined Fund Drive on its website, and you can donate there year-round.

More than two million bucks. To paraphrase the 2010 CFD slogan, just imagine the difference that money will make.