The Tufts Community Appeal (TCA) campaign had its best year ever, raising a total of $475,000 and eclipsing its participation goal of 800 to set a new record of 867 donors.
Rocco DiRico, director of government and community relations at Tufts, said participation has more than doubled over the past five years, reflecting growing awareness of a university-wide effort that raises support for Tufts financial aid, the Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund (TNSF), and other charities.
“On behalf of the Tufts Community Appeal board, thank you to all the faculty and staff that donated to this year’s amazing campaign,” said DiRico.
The appeal’s upward trajectory, he said, encompasses significant growth for the TNSF: gifts directed to the fund grew 54 percent over the past five years. This year 126 donors contributed $25,832, all of which will be awarded as grants to nonprofit organizations in the university’s host communities of Boston, Grafton, Medford, and Somerville. (Applications for 2019 can be found are online.)
DiRico credits stronger participation to wider publicity, led in large part by the energy and enthusiasm for faculty and staff on the TCA board.
“They volunteered their time, they spoke at faculty meetings, and they staffed donation tables on Giving Tuesday,” he said. “Most of the TCA board returned from last year as well, and so they brought with them real dedication and experience, both key to our success.”
Faculty and staff are also “always coming up with the new ideas” to spur participation, he said, like this year’s ugly sweater competition between the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering. The winning school got to select an “ugly” holiday sweater to be worn by the dean of the losing school at the Arts, Sciences and Engineering faculty meeting on February 6.
The School of Engineering ultimately won, with the Department of Mechanical Engineering taking the lead for department participation and thus earning the privilege of selecting the ugly sweater.
At the faculty meeting, department chair Chris Rogers said his faculty and staff opted for something less ostentatious than the usual outrageous ugly sweater, and that could indeed be worn throughout the year. James Glaser, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, gracefully accepted the mystery sweater, which, in collegiate fashion, was emblazed with the logo for the Tufts School of Engineering.
“I’ll wear it with pride,” said Glaser, who then donned it while giving a PowerPoint presentation on trends in undergraduate enrollment.
If you are interesting joining the TCA Board, please contact Government & Community Relations at 617-627-3780 or [email protected].
Laura Ferguson can be reached at [email protected].