NIU raises donations for United Way

By Debra Fleischman

NIU raised more than $40,000 for the 1986 DeKalb United Way Campaign, bringing the total city effort to $312,000, said campaign chairman Jack Felver.

“This is the first time we surpassed the $300,000 mark. We raised just over $13,000 above our goal, which is more than $15,000 over what we raised last year,” said Felver, who also serves as the university’s director of housing.

NIU’s motive this year was to increase its participation rate rather than increase the dollar amount contributed, said Norden Gilbert, NIU campaign chairman and associate legal counsel.

Although the percentage of participants at the university increased by a mere 2.2 over last year’s 20.4 percent participation rate, Gilbert said he was happy to see any increase at all.

“I am pleased with any participation rate and I hope to see an increase of participation in future years,” he said.

The campaign at NIU, which raised $43,328, was divided into departments and colleges that competed against each other for the highest rate of participation. The winner this year was the Finance and Planning Office, with half of its 34 employees contributing a total of $1,170 to the fund.

Next was the Development Office, in which 26 out of the 60 employees donated, for a total of $976. Although only 19.8 percent (or 132) of the 668 employees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences donated to the fund, the college collected $9,073—the highest of any division.

United Way is a non-profit organization nearly 100 years-old which devotes itself to raising money for community service organizations. Examples of organizations in DeKalb that have received United Way funds in the past are the Ben Gordon Community Mental Health Center, DeKalb County Coordinated Child Care, the Voluntary Action Center and the American Red Cross.

The funds are dispersed to social service agencies in the county after a lengthy application process and open hearings in April, Felver said.