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Neighborhood Outreach Nets a 19 Percent Increase in 1997 Good Neighbors Campaign

The USC Good Neighbors Campaign had its best year ever in 1997, beating the previous year’s fundraising total by 16 percent and surpassing its monetary goal, campaign organizers announced.

This year’s campaign garnered $453,154 from 3,072 pledges to Neighborhood Outreach, United Way and other charities funded through United Way. Faculty and staff pledged 16 percent more than the previous year, and 7 percent over the monetary goal of $425,000.

Of the pledges, 2,590 were designated for USC Neighborhood Outreach, totaling $393,364, a 19 percent increase over the $329,369 pledged in 1996. For the United Way, faculty and staff gave $59,790 through 482 pledges.

Overall, gifts to the annual campaign have escalated 300 percent since 1994, when the campaign’s name and focus was changed from United Way to the USC Good Neighbors Campaign. The Good Neighbors Campaign largely supports USC Neighborhood Outreach, a nonprofit corporation funding USC-community partnerships that have a visible, positive impact on the neighborhoods near the University Park and Health Sciences campuses.

Campaign organizers believe the increase in contributions is largely due to greater support from faculty members.

“Staff have always believed in the program, and now more faculty members are showing their support,” said Jane G. Pisano, senior vice president for external relations and campaign chair. With more than three years under its belt, the Neighborhood Outreach program also has a track record.

“We’ve proven to be accountable,” Pisano said. “People see that the activities of Neighborhood Outreach are well-run, with limited resources and a lot of volunteer efforts by USC staff and faculty.”

PISANO IS OPTIMISTIC about reaching the $500,000 mark during the 1998 campaign – a 10 percent increase over the 1997 total.

This year also saw a significant increase in the number of faculty and staff who became members of the President’s Leadership Circle. About 50 additional donors pledged 1 percent or more of their annual salary to the campaign, said Rose Washington, director of special projects for external relations.

Now there are close to 250 donors in the President’s Leadership Circle who gave about $207,000, representing 46 percent of the total donations. The leadership donors are honored by President Steven B. Sample during a special dinner in the fall.

Individual academic and administrative units also posted significant increases in giving.

The School of Engineering led the way in improving its dollar donations, Washington said. That school raised $29,124 in 1997, a more than $12,000 increase over its 1996 total.

Barbara Bramwell, administrative coordinator of appointments, promotion and tenure who served as campaign leader for the school, credited a concerted effort to ignite enthusiasm among campaign leaders for the school’s 11 different departments. Bramwell invited them to lunch and showed a videotape created last year about Neighborhood Outreach-funded programs. She also sent weekly e-mail reminders to the campaign leaders and individual faculty members to encourage them to pledge.

“I think our campaign leaders jumped on the bandwagon after seeing the video,” Bramwell said. “It really helped people understand what Neighborhood Outreach was all about and get a feeling for it. “Once the campaign leaders got on board, their own enthusiasm helped increase the donations this year,” she added.

The College of Letters, Arts and Sciences faculty and staff boosted its total giving by close to $5,500. LAS gave $48,900 in 1997 compared to about $43,400 in 1996.

Other academic units that significantly increased their giving totals were the Law School, which improved by about $4,500; the School of Nursing, $4,000; and the School of Dentistry, $3,600.

Administrative units that achieved 100 percent participation in 1997 were the Academic Records and Registrar’s Office, the Office of Business Affairs, USC Civic and Community Relations, the Office of External Relations, Internal Audit, Mailing Services, the Office of the President, the Department of Public Safety, Safety and Risk Management, and the Treasurer’s Office.

No academic units have yet reached 100 percent participation. However, the School of Urban Planning and Development achieved 97 percent, and the School of Nursing had 87 percent.

THE NEIGHBORHOOD Outreach Grants Committee is now asking for spending proposals for $400,000 in Neighborhood Outreach grants.

Any faculty, staff, department or division interested in partnering with a community-based organization may submit a proposal. Proposals must be submitted by the USC partner, and are due March 31. For proposal guidelines, contact the Office of External Relations at 740-7400.

The proposal must meet one or more objectives of Neighborhood Outreach:

  • Improving the quality of K-12 education and the quality of life of the children who attend neighborhood schools.
  • Improving public safety and reducing crime and violence, through community policing or other initiatives.
  • Helping organizations that offer opportunities for home ownership to long-term, low-income USC employees.
  • Supporting projects that result in economic development, including stimulating entrepreneurship, beautifying the neighborhood, and enhancing employability of neighborhood residents.
Neighborhood Outreach Nets a 19 Percent Increase in 1997 Good Neighbors Campaign

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