December 2015

Crowdfunding is New Way to Support UConn Programs

Grace Merritt
Grace Merritt

2 min read

This year for the first time, UConn employees can create an online giving page to promote a UConn cause they are passionate about to their co-workers. This is a new initiative as part of the Close to Home Campaign.

Faculty, staff, and retirees can donate directly to research and programs at UConn through special crowdfunding pages that their colleagues have set up. It’s the newest option for employees who want to give to the Close to Home Campaign, running through Dec. 31.

The pages allow these employees to multiply the power of their gift through their network of colleagues. They can share the page or social media or directly with co-workers to promote their cause.

“Crowdfunding really lets people promote causes they personally feel passionate about,” said Lauren Ellis Grabowski ’09 (CLAS), assistant director of annual giving at the UConn Foundation.

So far, faculty and staff have created 10 crowdfunding pages to promote specific causes, such as breast cancer research, scholarships, and female undergraduates majoring in science, math, and engineering.

Lauren S. Schlesselman ’94 (PHARM), ’12, associate dean for academic affairs at the School of Pharmacy, set up a crowdfunding page for her passion: leadership training in healthcare professions.

Her page raises funds for training she hopes to offer students majoring in nursing, physical therapy, and other health professions. She wants to expand the leadership track program that she now runs for pharmacy students, which provides courses, projects, community outreach, and mentoring experiences.

Mary Ann Phaneuf, program administrator in the School of Pharmacy’s Office of Experiential Education, set up a crowdfunding page for scholarships because she remembers how much her scholarship meant to her.

“I know when I went to school, scholarships helped me to achieve my personal success and this fund is my way of giving back and making an impact,” Phaneuf said. “I love seeing the energy and excitement of students around campus once they receive this scholarship and know that these contributions are a catalyst for funding their academic success.”

Besides crowdfunding, there are still other more traditional ways to give to the Close to Home Campaign. Employees can make a payroll deduction as low as $1 per pay period or give an annual gift in support of UConn. Faculty and staff can give to any area of UConn as part of the Close to Home Campaign.

The fundraising campaign began as a way to encourage employees, including emeriti and retired faculty and staff, to make a gift to the University in any area personally meaningful to them. During the last fiscal year, 1,732 faculty, staff, and retirees gave $3.1 million to the campaign.

 

For more information on crowdfunding or to make a donation, please visit the Close to Home Campaign website or contact Lauren Ellis Grabowski at lgrabowski@foundation.uconn.edu or (860) 486-3132.

 

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UConn Nation Gives: 2015 By the Numbers

UConn Foundation
UConn Foundation

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The student whose life was transformed by a scholarship, the patient who received a free mammogram at UConn Health, and the U.S. veteran who took advantage of job training programs—they all benefited from philanthropy.

Thanks to you, UConn Nation, we’ve completed one of the most successful fundraising years in our history.

And with $38 million raised for scholarship support, you’ve helped transform the lives of so many UConn students—past, present, and future—so they can go on to accomplish great things. Here are just a few of the students and donors we’d like to recognize.

 

alumnus justis lopezalumnus richard minoffalumnae kathleen burrstudent javante danvers

 

We’re proud of our role. Accountability is at the core of our success. You can see all of the information we provide to the public—including our independently audited financial statement and 990 tax form—below.

Thank you for another successful year. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2016.

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UConn Faculty Predict Winners of GOP, Democratic Primaries

Grace Merritt
Grace Merritt

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At a recent event at the Mark Twain House, UConn political science professors weighed in on the 2016 presidential race and predicted who would win the primaries.

UConn President Susan Herbst, herself a scholar of public opinion, media, and American politics, was the moderator and challenged the panelists to predict who would win their party nomination. Nearly all agreed that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic candidate, while Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) would be the GOP favorite.

Herbst took it one step further, sharing her predictions for the vice president as well. She speculated that Clinton would pick Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as a running mate, while Rubio would choose former Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

About 40 alumni and area residents came to the panel, co-sponsored by the UConn Foundation and the Mark Twain House and Museum. UConn held a similar political panel in Stamford this fall.

The panel is part of the university’s larger effort to engage the community. UConn recently launched a series of science salons designed to stimulate public discourse on science and culture. Alumni, business leaders and others can join UConn scientists and researchers to examine technological developments and debate health and human behavior in a lighthearted atmosphere.

During the political panel discussion, political science professor Paul Herrnson discussed how campaign finance is shaping the race, while Shayla Nunnally, and associate professor of political science and Africana studies, talked about how shifting demographics are changing voting blocs.

Nunnally said 90 percent of black households voted for a Democrat in the last presidential election. At the same time, the white population is increasingly becoming Republican, she said. She predicted that race would be a major factor in the presidential election.

 

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