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Social Work launches new circle of giving

Maya Meinertby Maya Meinert
Supporting the Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families is one way to invest in the future of the social work profession. (Photo/Aaron Hostutler)
Photo: Supporting the Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families is one way to invest in the future of the social work profession. (Photo/Aaron Hostutler)

The USC School of Social Work has established a new philanthropic giving community, the Advocates Circle, whose members are dedicated to supporting the school and its mission of improving the lives of vulnerable populations.

By donating between $250 and $5,000, these individual donors are recognized for their generosity with exclusive benefits, including invitations to special events, preferred seating and parking for select university events, and personal assistance with university requests, among other advantages.

Advocates also have the option of directing their gifts to any area of study or support they prefer. For example, a donation that goes toward student scholarships would benefit the nearly 90 percent of Master of Social Work students who require significant financial assistance to attend the school.

Many of these students are veterans whose desire to help fellow service members and their families transition back into civilian life is hampered by a reduction — more than 50 percent — in military education benefits. Supporting innovative faculty research that yields evidence-based results, including that on military social work through the school’s Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families, is another way to invest in the future of the social work profession.

“By joining our Advocates Circle, you’ll not only be supporting the important educational and research work of the school, but you’ll also be strengthening your ties to USC,” said Asha Jayasinghe, director of advancement at the School of Social Work. “Consistent gifts from our alumni and friends are the backbone of the continued success of our students and graduates.”

During the last fiscal year, donations to the school reached an all-time high of $5.4 million, which was double the amount given in each of the previous two years. Individuals comprised more than a third of the number of donors last year, with alumni making up nearly two-thirds of individuals.

With the launch of this new giving society, the school hopes to invite more people to become a part of its community of advocates focused on eradicating pressing societal problems.

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