Western Carolina University is launching its first-ever comprehensive campaign, and the initial phase of the effort will focus on the WCU family, which comprises the faculty, staff, Board of Trustees, and Foundation Board. You can expect one of your colleagues to approach you soon about making a contribution to your university.
If you are like me, requests for money typically evoke one or all of the following reactions:
"I already contribute to Western; I pay taxes."
"I would like to help, but right now, with all my expenses, I just can’t afford to."
"I don’t make a lot of money; charitable giving is an obligation of the wealthy."
While these or other similar initial reactions are understandable, I hope that upon reflection you will decide to respond positively to your colleague’s request for a contribution for the following reasons:
Western, the place where we work and spend a good part of our daily lives, will become the university we want it to be only when it has access to resources exceeding those provided by the state.
Many people have a problem making ends meet at least on occasion, while others confront the problem continuously. Recognizing and appreciating this reality, the on-campus campaign is placing greater importance on the number of people who contribute rather than on the amount contributed.
Generosity is not a trait restricted to the higher-income individuals in our society; often those with the fewest resources are the most generous. Rich or poor, the generous are active participants in worthwhile endeavors. The size of their gifts is determined by their fiscal capabilities and obligations, but they do give.
Please help Western create extraordinary opportunities for its students, staff, and faculty by participating in the campaign to the full extent your resources permit. Through the campaign, you may designate your gifts to where you think they will do the most good.
Remember, how much you give is less important than that you give. One hundred percent participation of the university family is our goal. Reaching this goal is important because unless we demonstrate our enthusiastic support of the campaign, we will be less successful in attaining the support of generous donors from outside the university. The most common question asked from potential major donors is this: “How many of your own people contribute to the university?” Wouldn’t it be great to be able to answer, “All of us do.”
We’ll stay in touch as the campaign progresses.
Former Dean, College of Education and Allied Professions
Chair, Faculty/Staff Component of Family Gifts Division