About the Twin Cities Community Fund Drive

Causes You Care About

The Community Fund Drive is the University of Minnesota’s annual charitable giving campaign where employees give to the causes they care about—ending hunger, curing diseases, helping students pay their college tuition, preserving the environment, sheltering the homeless, or supporting the arts.

The Community Fund Drive is an easy way for Twin Cities faculty and staff to donate to local nonprofits, including seven area federations that represent nearly 500 agencies/charities: Community Health Charities of Minnesota, Community Shares of Minnesota, Greater Twin Cities United Way, Minnesota Environmental Fund, Open Your Heart to the Hungry and the Homeless, United Negro College Fund (UNCF), and the University of Minnesota Foundation.

A Fall Tradition Since 1931

Desperate need in our community during the Great Depression led President James Morrill to begin the campaign in 1931. Since 1995, the Community Fund Drive has raised $20.4 million. Last year, 33 percent of employees on the Twin Cities campus donated more than $1.24 million to the community.

Workplace Giving Makes a Difference

Many nonprofits in our community receive a significant portion of their annual donations through the Community Fund Drive, thanks to the generosity of our faculty and staff. Giving through an employer provides nonprofits with larger gifts because people tend to give a little each paycheck.

Four Big Changes in 2015

In addition to our new co-chairs, MaryJo Kreitzer and Bernard Gulachek, this year’s campaign has four big changes:

  • Mark your calendar for October 16—our new start date.

    The campaign dates changed so it includes Give to the Max Day on November 12 when giving to others will be top of mind for everyone. This year’s CFD will only be four weeks long, so competition will be fierce when the campaign ends on November 13.
  • Now you can give to the Community Fund Drive on Give to the Max Day.

    November 12 is Give to the Max Day and you can donate to your cause through the campaign if that’s easier for you. Just know that a gift through the CFD on November 12 will not count toward any matching grants offered through GiveMN.org.
  • Giving to the U of M is easier.

    When you click on the “Donate Now” button on the Community Fund Drive site, you’ll see a separate button for Give.UMN where you can make a one-time gift or payroll deduction. This option will be on the paper form, too.
  • A new online giving experience.

    The University opted to go with a new online giving platform as part of the Upgrade and are partnering with the United Way to use eWay, a secure online payment gateway, for online donations. You’ll have the same options for one-time giving, ongoing payroll deductions, and gifts to nonprofits outside our federation partners. Paper forms are still available.

Donating 101

Faculty and staff can donate online or with a paper form and make either a one-time gift or give a little each pay period. Gifts can be made to a federation, an agency/agencies within a federation, an outside charity (501(c)3), or a combination of all of three. Funds raised during the campaign go directly to the organization selected by the employee, however, a portion of the donations are retained by the federation to cover the costs of processing the gift. In addition, employees who pledge their support are entered to win weekly prizes with a final grand prize drawing in November.

Co-Chairs and Volunteers Drive Giving at the U

The Community Fund Drive is guided by two co-chairs and a committee of lead volunteers and ambassadors from employee groups across the campus. These lead volunteers recruit grassroots volunteers from their colleges or units to host events to raise awareness, raise funds, and have a little fun, too. Participation rates by college and unit are reported online each week to inspire giving.

2015 Community Fund Drive Co-Chairs

Bernard Gulachek

Bernard Gulachek

Interim Vice President, Chief Information Officer, Office of Information Technology

I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our faculty and staff over the course of my 29 years at the University. Our contributions to the health and wellbeing of our community predate our first Community Fund Drive in 1931 and continue to this day through partnerships with local businesses, engagement with nonprofits, and research into the complex problems facing the world today. I am repeatedly amazed at what we can accomplish together.

The University has made it their mission to meet challenges facing Minnesota’s communities, a mission that I, like many of you, take to heart. The Community Fund Drive is an easy way to get involved and I hope you will join me in making a donation to the communities and organizations that need our help.

MaryJo Kreitzer

MaryJo Kreitzer

Director, Center for Spirituality & Healing

Since 1931, employees at the University of Minnesota have given generously to support the Community Fund Drive. This rich tradition of generosity demonstrates that the faculty and staff at the University enjoy being part of a movement that makes a difference in people’s lives and benefits the communities in which they live. The Center’s Wellbeing Model includes “Community” as one of six dimensions of wellbeing because when individuals thrive, so do the larger communities to which they are connected. This year, I encourage you to continue the University’s heritage of kindness by donating to this year’s Community Fund Drive.

Prizes and Unit Participation

Image of oversized check made out to Federations
Thanks to the many generous employees who helped raise $1,246,925 for hundreds of Twin Cities area charities and federations on behalf of the Community Fund Drive. Pictured above are the Community Fund Drive co-chairs and federation partner representatives.

2015 Unit Participation Results

Show week/year details (new window)

Top participation in units with 100 employees or below:

Top participation in units with 100 employees and above:

Prize Drawing Results

Prize drawings occur weekly on Fridays throughout the campaign. Winners for the grand prizes will be chosen on November 20. All winners will be notified via email and posted online. Check back here for updated prize information and winners. All employees who pledge their support are eligible to win prizes.