Supporting the University’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness about, respond to, and address sexual and relationship violence, the Chancellor’s Task Force on Sexual and Relationship Violence conducts the Sexual and Relationship Violence Survey, with the support of the Office of…
How Supporting the United Way Employee Giving Campaign Makes a Difference in Central New York on the ‘’Cuse Conversations’ Podcast
Syracuse University head men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim ’66, G’73 and head women’s basketball coach Felisha Legette-Jack ’89 understand the importance of charitable giving, and one of the biggest ways Boeheim and Legette-Jack feel the University community can make a difference in the lives of area residents is through supporting the United Way of Central New York’s employee giving campaign.
The United Way of Central New York has been providing residents with access to essential resources for 100 years, and the University community has supported the United Way’s employee giving campaign for the last 50 years.
With a little more than two weeks remaining in this year’s campaign, there’s still time for University employees to make a gift of any size to support their fellow Central New Yorkers in need. The campaign kicked off on Oct. 14 and runs through Dec. 16.
Given the current state of the economy, including paying more to fill up our cars, heat our homes and put food on the table, Michael Frasciello, dean of the College of Professional Studies, understands that employees could hesitate when asked to open up their wallets and give back to a charity like the United Way.
Frasciello, one of three co-chairs of the University’s campaign, urges all University employees to make a gift of any size to help their neighbors in need this holiday season, as all of the proceeds go directly back into the community.
“Syracuse University has been directly involved with supporting the United Way since 1972 through our annual employee giving. That employee giving has a direct and powerful impact on helping the local community right here in the Central New York region, and is really designed to address the community’s most pressing issues. This is the community we live and work in, and so when we talk about an obligation and responsibility to the community it’s actually, these are our neighbors, these people are us. This includes individuals within the University that benefit from these programs. So I think the commitment to the United Way, if it’s not seamless, it’s almost symbiotic,” Frasciello says.
Frasciello shares why it’s important for University employees to give what they can to help their neighbors, spotlights some of the fun and creative ways employees are supporting this effort, and how all gifts benefit the Central New York community through more than 70 unique and impactful programs and projects offered by the United Way’s 28 nonprofit partners.
Check out episode 122 of the “’Cuse Conversations” podcast featuring Michael Frasciello, dean of the College of Professional Studies. A transcript [PDF] is also available.
01What are the goals of this year's campaign?
Our fundraising goal, like last year, is $100,000. We set that goal working with the United Way of Central New York. I think we set an achievable goal for the University, and we think we’ll certainly meet that and hopefully exceed that goal.
02What are some examples of how the proceeds raised from the United Way employee giving campaign will make a difference for residents in Central New York?
There are nearly 70 specially-funded programs and projects embedded within the 28 local health and human service agencies and non-profit agencies that United Way partners with every year. Every dollar goes toward supporting those programs and agencies, and 100% of the donations stay here in Central New York.
There are two signature programs within the United Way’s broader partnership that are really impactful that we’ve seen benefit significantly from our participation. One is the Thriving Families program, a United Way collaboration of local organizations that serve families that are at risk of housing instability. The program takes a two-generational approach where case managers connect parents and children to supportive services like job training, food assistance, and mental and physical health services, and it’s a whole-family approach.
Another that resonates with a lot of us here at the College of Professional Studies is the Third-Grade Readiness program, which is designed to address disparities in developmental outcomes that emerge in infancy and then widen in childhood. Those funds go directly to early learning and parental involvement during a child’s first five years, while also improving literacy to put these children on a path to be at an accurate reading level by the time they reach the third grade.
03Syracuse University and the City of Syracuse are so ingrained and intertwined. Why does Syracuse University so passionately support this United Way effort, and why is it important for employees to give what they can?
The University has a responsibility to give back to the region, and the United Way employee giving campaign helps support and solve the problems our community is facing. Syracuse University is one of the largest employers in Central New York, and nearly 90% of our 6,000 employees live here in Central New York. 25% of the population of Onondaga County benefits or will benefit from a United Way of Central New York-funded program. This is a community we live and work in, and these are our neighbors who need the help and benefit from these programs.
04How can employees give back to the United Way through this campaign?
University employees are encouraged to consider making a voluntary pledge through MySlice. You have the option to either make a one-time donation or a regular donation through payroll deduction each pay period. Some of the schools and colleges are holding typical events like bake sales or raffles. If you go to the JMA Wireless Dome, you’ll hear an announcement about our text-to-donate option, and there are kiosks set up throughout campus at the Schine Student Center and at the Barnes Center at The Arch. We make it really easy to give back.
Note: This conversation was edited for brevity and clarity.