reason to give graphic

About the Twin Cities Community Fund Drive

The Community Fund Drive is the University of Minnesota’s annual charitable giving campaign which provides an easy way for employees on the Twin Cities campus to donate to local nonprofits that enrich the community. The Community Fund Drive partners with six area federations that represent nearly 500 agencies/charities: the Greater Twin Cities United Way, Community Health Charities of Minnesota, Community Shares of Minnesota, the Minnesota Environmental Fund, Open Your Heart to the Hungry and the Homeless, and UNCF. The campaign kicks off October 1 and continues through the end of the month.

The Community Fund Drive has a long and distinguished past since it was founded by President James Morrill during the Great Depression in 1931. Since 1995, the Community Fund Drive has raised $17.8 million. In 2013, 36 percent of employees on the Twin Cities campus donated more than $1.3 million to the community.

Faculty and staff can donate online, or via a paper form, and make either a one-time gift or have their donation taken out of their pay check 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 small 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.

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.

Please send your questions and suggestions to Thank you!

Community Fund Drive Co-Chairs

2014 co-chair
Bill Donohue

Bill Donohue

General Counsel

I have worked for the University since 1982 and have had the opportunity to work with and represent people in virtually all parts of the organization. All of the people I have encountered are committed to public service and bring to that service a caring and generous spirit. We care about the welfare of others. This is expressed every day in our work but is epitomized by our willingness to share our good fortune with others who have not been so blessed. My hope is that you will join us again this year by donating to the charity of your choice.

2014 co-chair
Eric Schwartz

Eric Schwartz

Dean of Humphrey School of Public Affairs

As a relative newcomer to the Twin Cities, having arrived here less than three years ago, I have been so impressed and moved by the sense of compassion and civic engagement that characterizes this very special community. Community agencies in this region tackle social and economic challenges with a degree of forthrightness, energy and commitment that serve as model for other parts of our nation and our world. But they can only do so through the generous support of all of us. So please help us to sustain this great tradition of leadership providing assistance to individuals and organizations that need our help.

why I give graphic

Contributed Testimonials

Madonna Monette
MN Extension Finance
"I am fortunate to be able to support efforts that make a difference and give comfort to those in need."

Jeanette Tensfeldt
"Helping those in need helps society as a whole."

Katrina Roth
University of Minnesota Foundation
"Because our community needs help from its members to thrive!"

Peg Sherven
"This is the most efficient means of helping those in need and I know the funds are utilized in the greatest capacity possible. Thanks CFD!"

Laura Willemsen
Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development
"We're fortunate that Minnesota has so many outstanding non-profits doing excellent work meeting the diverse needs of our community -- it's a privilege to support them."

Pamela Wheelock
University Services
"Because I can!"

David Rosen
IT@UMN - Technology Training and Usability Services
"As a parent, anything I can do to try and prevent pain and suffering to children and families is going to speak to me. That's why I use the Community Fund Drive to give to Children's Cancer Research, so that we can find ways to treat and, hopefully, cure the disease that just ravages families and takes little people away far too soon."

Amy K. Frankfurt
"Giving is a way to act on gratitude."

Leah Milojevic
CLA Martin Luther King Jr. Program & President's Emerging Scholarst
"I give because as Dr. King explains "Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”

Scott Thaller
"It's good to give back to the community, and to help those less fortunate."

William O. Beeman
"The University is both IN the Twin Cities and OF the Twin Cities. Giving back to the wonderful community in which we live and work is a privilege. Our contributions help insure the quality of life that we all enjoy and provide support for those areas of public life that need it. A rising tide raises all boats, and with our help we will raise the tide for everyone."

Ann Thuy Tran
" Because I lucky to have a job and a house to live. I feel the pain of other less fortunate."

Christopher Matthew Groth
"I love This Community!"

Santiago Fernandez-Gimenez
Academic Support Resources
"There are so many needs, and so ways to build community, it can be overwhelming. Giving via the Community Fund Drive is one way I can regularly fit helping others into my work life and budget. It is easy and feels right."

Janet Johnson
Financial Services, CSOM
"There are so many needs and also great programs and Art in the Twin Cities. Giving to through the Community Fund Drive makes it easy to support these needs and activities. I go in knowing some organizations I support regularly, like the Ananya Dance Theatre, and also lets me look through and find organizations that serve people in my immediate community/neighborhood like the American Indian Women's Resource Center."
"Those groups you've thought about supporting, this is your opportunity to do it."

Bob Danforth
Inter-College Program CCE
"Life is precious. Making always possible for everyone something to eat and a safe and warm place to stay is a moral imperative for me and requires a small sacrifice on my part."

Kathleen Lee
"I am luckier than most."

Rachael Cullick
Classical and Near Eastern Studies
"To give back into the world."

Daniel Pinkerton
Center for Austrian Studies
"I have been doing this for over 20 years, and I don't intend to stop. The Community Fund Drive gives me the opportunity to give a little bit to a diverse group of organizations working to improve society."

Katharine Nease Bonneson
School of Nursing
"To support efforts that are near and dear to my heart!"

Jonathan Kirsch
General Internal Medicine
"I appreciate the payroll deduction. It makes donation easy. It is so important to be grateful for those fighting for social justice and helping them financially while we do our day jobs helps all of society."

Amy L. Olson
Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
"We have a history of generosity to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Be thankful and lend a hand or a dollar! It is our duty as citizens of this world to help others who need it!"

Bruno Chaouat
French and Italian
"To give back."

Derek Maness
Office for Diversity in Graduate Education
"I contribute to the fund drive because I believe if everyone can give, even just a little, the positive impact on our community is something from which we would all benefit."

Nicola Alexander
Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development
"I give because we are all part of one big community, and these organizations do so much to improve and enrich our lives. The drive gives me an opportunity to do my part."

Sandra Kenon
College of Veterinary Medicine
"I have given in the past 10 years to the scholarship foundation at the inner ring suburb high school that my daughters attended, as they both received scholarships from that foundation. I feel confident that any contribution that I give them is greatly appreciated, no matter how small, and has helped many students of diverse backgrounds attend the University of Minnesota,"

Erin Kelly-Collins
UMN Extension's Minnesota 4-H Foundation
"I give in support of Pillsbury United Communities because I have seen the results of their work to "attack Minnesota's achievement gap through creativity, perseverance, and research-based innovative programming and services." Their Pillsbury Theatre and Early Learning Center is a wonderful place for my child to learn and grow. In addition to paying tuition for our child to attend, we gladly give extra to ensure other children have the same wonderful experience ours does."

Maja Radovanlija
Department of Music
"I am coming from the country in which people survived difficult times only because they were willing to share and give to each other. I feel that if we can share always, not only in challenging times, we are growing as a community. I give because I feel grateful for help I was provided."

Beth Mercer-Taylor
Institute on the Environment
"Giving is a way for us to care for our communities and to reflect on what we have received."

Mary Moreno Lien
Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & Life Sciences
"I give to Open your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless, because NO ONE in the United States of America should be hungry or not have a safe place to sleep."

Denis Larson
"I want to donate to Association for Nonsmokers – Minnesota."

Denise Mazone
Real Estate
"It is like the presence of the Sankofa Bird - Reach back and give!"

Shannon Mayer
Financial Services
"I give because I can and it's the right thing to do. I have seen how many organizations help those in need. They do what they can even if the donations are not optimal, so the more we give the more they help and support."

Getachew Dagaga
Facilities Management
" My small gift goes to United Negro College to be used for educational purposes.I am sure my small gift will make a difference in some body's life together with the rest of donations.'

Betty B. Gilchrist
Human Resources
"It feels right to help my community."

Allen Lindgren
Facilities ManagementI
"I give because future generations need a maintained natural environment to enjoy, and my contributions will help make this possible."

Brent Swartz
"It feels good to give."

Michael Wade
"Its the right thing to do to assist those less fortunate than ourselves."

Kacey Gregerson
CLA Student Services
" I always donate because it's the right thing to do, and I'm honored to be able to help my community. Personally, I always give to two areas - one from the list, and one that I add as a 'pledge not listed for my contribution.' The second one is the Animal Humane Society - I know AHS does great things for animals, and for humans. I'm a better person because of my dog."

Molly Rosen
Office for the General Counsel
"I give to the CFD because I would not be where I am today without help from the community, and I will never forget that or take it for granted. I want to give back and this is my way of doing that."

Brad Hunt
University Recreation and Wellness
"I'm thankful for being able to do what I love as a career...the fact that I get paid to promote health and wellness is such a blessing. I give to the Community Fund Drive because I believe it is important to do my part in helping other Minnesotans that are in need. Everyone deserves the opportunity to live a healthy and happy life - my small gift will hopefully keep that momentum going for another day."

Mae Seely Sylvester
"I believe that we are one community and that the need of anyone in the community is my need as well. So when I contribute, it is not just to honor our responsibility to each other, but also to strengthen the community in which we all share."

Libby Nickel Baker
University of Minnesota Foundation
"I pledged to two agencies via United Way this year, Second Harvest Heartland and ServeMinnesota. My family volunteers quarterly at Second Harvest Heartland and I know how far they can stretch a dollar to help those facing food insecurity, so it's a pleasure to support their work. ServeMinnesota is Minnesota's AmeriCorps program. AmeriCorps was a pivotal experience for me after my graduation from the University of Minnesota, setting me on a career path in non-profit fundraising, and it's my pleasure to support their work, as well."

Jane Vega
Humphrey School of Public Affairs
This quote from Hubert H. Humphrey means so much to me, "there is no such thing as an acceptable level of unemployment, because hunger is not acceptable, poverty is not acceptable, poor health is not acceptable, and a ruined life is not acceptable."
That is why I give and I'm glad to do so.

Sheryl Bolstad
CFANS Student Services Office
"The Community Fund Drive is set up to make it easy to give, and to allocate giving to my particular interests, although all are good causes. I also like aiding to the U of M's contribution to the community."

Juergen Konczak
"It's a good way to give back to society, to promote the common good, to help those less fortunate than us."

Tex Ostvig
Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence
"Share when you can, how you can". We all need help in our lives, one time or another. I have felt the compassion and empathy of others who have shared their resources with me as well as my family. When I am able to share my resources, I do so because it is always the "right thing to do, for the right reasons, at the right time". The University of Minnesota is a land grant institution, we represent the state in higher education, what better way to show we care by when we share. The Community Fund Drive is more than donating money for me, it is about directing dollars where they are needed most. I give because I can.

Amy Gunter
College of Science and Engineering Student Services
"I give each year as a way to pay-it-forward for the kindness, support and generosity we received when our daughter passed away. There are so many amazing people and organizations that swoop in to keep you going when the unimaginable happens; and, I want to do my part to ensure that other families continue to find strength in the resources available in our community."

Tonia Weber
Carlson School of Management
1. ease of giving: click click enter amounts and done.
2. grateful to have ability to make a difference for those in need
3. feels good
4. right thing to do!
5. ditto to John Snider
6. ditto to Elizabeth Finger
7. ditto to Gina Deveney
8. ditto to Elizabeth Anderson

Janet Johnson
Financial Services, CSOM
"I give because it makes a difference. The community fund drive gives me the opportunity to easily include many organizations I care about in my giving. It's great to support causes you believe in and to support programs that directly impact the people in my own neighborhood and communities."

Patricia Williamson
Srategic Management and Entrepreneurship
"I support Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless every year as I feel there is such an urgent need to help those who are less fortunate in our local communities."

Megan Morrissey
School of Social Work
" I really appreciate the U of MN Community Fund Drive, in no small part because you make it ridiculously easy for me to donate to an organization for which I have tremendous respect and that I want to support. I have my donation taken directly from my paycheck, which makes it very convenient. I give every year to the United Negro College Fund because I think they do invaluable work in providing support for students to go to college. Their work has such a wide-spread impact and, I think, moves us as a society to a better place. thanks to the CFD for making this such an easy process!"

Vicki Mincer
U Market Services
"Through the many tragedies my family has experienced over the years, there have been various community services that have helped bridge them over to better times."

John Snider
"I give to the Open Your Heart organization because in this land of plenty there are far too many people who go hungry every day. This is a great opportunity to help those in need."

Elizabeth Finger
Umarket Services
"I give for those in need because it feels good to help."

Kate Brekke
School of Public Health
"I to the United Way and earkmark my donation to Solid Ground. Solid Ground, an organization that helps homeless families and children to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty."

" I personally met a young mom who told me about how her life’s journey had landed her into homelessness with her children. She spoke about how desperate she was to provide them with a safe place to call home and a good education. The miracle of what she accomplished when given the opportunities at Solid Ground, reached into my heart and made me want to do whatever I could to help more families accomplish what she was describing. To help families give to their children what we all want, a safe place to call home, the chance for a good education and careers that offer a chance at self-sufficiency."

Gina Deveney
Department of Surgery
"I contribute annually to Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless because I believe no one should go to bed hungry, ever. I have been given much in my life and it feels good to give back to this effort."

Teddie Potter
School of Nursing
"I give because there are many small non-profits that do tremendous good for our community. Our contributions are the life blood of these organizations. Community health is the responsibility of all of us."

Ali Ojarigi
Medical School - Dean's Office
"Giving nourishes the soul, plants a seed, promotes a sense of well-being, allows us to reclaim our world citizenship and makes a tremendous difference. It is an investment that yields many happy returns."

Prizes graphic

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.

Unit Participation Results

Show week/year details (new window)

Top participation in units with 100 employees or below:

Board of Regents 100.00%
Audits 100.00%
Agricultural Experiment Station 93.33%
General Council 74.29%
Office of the President 74.29%
Capital Planning/Project Mgmt 57.14%

Top participation in units with 100 employees and above:

Controller’s Office 84.21%
Auxiliary Services 70.53%
University Relations 69.20%
Humphrey Institute 63.46%
Research 59.71%
Facilities Management 54.05%
Student Affairs/Bonyton 51.12%

Prize Drawing Results

All 2014 Community Fund Drive weekly and grand prize winners have been notified. Prize winners who do not claim their prize by January 15, 2015 will forfeit their prize. Contact Stephanie Haddad, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, regarding 2014 prizes.

Week 1 2014  |  Week 2 2014 |  Week 3 2014 |  Week 4 2014
Grand Prizes 2014