UCSF Kicks Off 2010 Charitable Giving Season

Faculty and staff who want to contribute to the health and well being of the community can do so online through the 2010 UCSF Charitable Giving Campaign, themed “The Heart of UCSF,” which runs through the end of the year.

This year, the UCSF Charitable Giving Campaign is going green. Printed brochures, pledge forms and envelopes will not be produced or mailed to employees.

Instead, all donations to humanitarian and environmental organizations can be done exclusively online through Community Health Charities of California, which administers the campaign for UCSF. The UCSF giving page is available on the Community Health Charities of California webpage.

As always, UCSF employees may give to the essential life-saving and life-improving programs and services provided by UCSF, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and affiliates. The 2010 UCSF Charitable Giving Campaign brochure is available for viewing here (PDF).

Topping the UCSF Charitable Giving Campaign list this year is the California Poison Control System (CPCS), which provides immediate, free and expert treatment advice and assistance over the telephone in case of exposure to poisonous, hazardous or toxic substances. Managed by the UCSF School of Pharmacy’s Department of Clinical Pharmacy, CPCS responds to 330,000 calls a year or about 900 a day, according to CPCS Executive Director Stuart Heard, PharmD, an assistant dean in the School of Pharmacy.

CPCS, which has been supported by the pharmacy school since the 1970s, is dependent on financing from the state, which provides 25 percent of its budget, which in turn is nearly tripled with federal matching funds. When state funds are threatened to disappear, which also threatens the federal matching funds, or the state budget is delayed, Heard is able to use other sources of funds, including those raised through charitable giving, to keep the system operating.

“This funding has allowed us some flexibility to get through very tough financial times,” Heard said. “These small, but important funds help us pay our bills.”

Last fiscal year, CPCS faced closure and sent out layoff notices to staff, he said. Those layoff notices were finally cancelled when the state funds came through. While serving as a critical resource to the community, CPCS also serves as an important training ground for pharmacy students and other health care providers who do rotations and take a course in poison control.

Supporting UCSF

UCSF employees have a number of choices when it comes to giving directly to programs operated by the University and medical center that provide valuable services to save and improve lives. Among the select UCSF and medical center programs are:

The complete list is available on the UCSF Charitable Giving Campaign brochure. [PDF]

Donate online now through the UCSF Charitable Giving Campaign.

In addition, the UCSF Charitable Giving Campaign has six agencies to which funds may be donated. They are:

The UCSF Charitable Giving Campaign, which is managed by University Relations, has for years raised money for organizations that improve the quality of life for citizens throughout the community as well as patients treated at UCSF or by UCSF affiliates.

Barbara J. French, vice chancellor of Strategic Communications and University Relations, hopes the campus community can continue to do what it can to assist others in need during a tough economy when the nation’s unemployment rate remains at 9.6 percent and the state’s at 12 percent.

“We know that many families are struggling to pay the rent, put food on the table and care for their children,” French says. “Those of us who are fortunate to have jobs should do what we can to help those in need of basic items and services. During this season of sharing, it is incumbent upon us to consider the needs of our neighbors and give what we can to any one of these valuable programs.” 

Even last year, during the deep economic recession when some employees took pay cuts, the UCSF community collectively contributed more than $50,000 through the campaign – albeit, roughly half of what the University raised through the campaign in the previous four years. The top five charities in 2009 were UCSF Medical Center, the Homeless Health Center, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Glide Health Clinic and San Francisco General Hospital Foundation.

Donating Securely Online

The Heart of UCSF 2010 Charitable Giving Campaign online pledge form, which is hosted by Community Health Charities of California, is a secure site and the information that donors submit is not shared with any outside vendors or companies.

The data of each donation is collected into a spreadsheet, hosted by Community Health Charities of California and submitted to UCSF’s payroll department. Donors’ addresses and personal information is used only for acknowledgement and only if released by the donor.

Krystie Scull, executive director of Community Health Charities of California, knows that the UC community is not immune to the finanical hardships facing the nation. She is heartened that year after year, faculty and staff still find the time and money to donate through the campaign.

“The UCSF community has been very generous over the years,” Scull says. “Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication to the combined charities campaign.”

Scull notes that every donation and every dollar can go a long way. For example, giving $2 a month allows agencies to provide healthy meals to a homeless person or give home care to a senior.

Importantly, faculty and staff may also make donations to any tax-exempt organization, school or church of their choice. To contribute to an agency not listed in the electronic campaign brochure, employees should write in the exact name and address of their specified agency or organization on the electronic donation form.  Gifts can be made as a single donation with a check or through regular payroll deductions. Those who donate by check should make the checks payable to Community Health Charities of California and send them via campus mail with the pledge form to UCSF Charitable Giving Campaign, UCSF University Relations, Box 0462.