By Tasha Sotomayor
This year”s Choose to Give campaign theme, “Feel the love,” may be more applicable to employees than students.
In 2001, the giving rate of employees to the university was 58 percent, last year it jumped up to 64 percent. This year, 75 percent of all employees are challenged to give, said Heidi Brady, associate director of Annual Giving for BYU.
Employees give a higher percentage of gifts to the university than students, she said. Employees are currently in their own campaign through the end of March. The employee giving campaign has been around for about 10 years, and it is a very successful campaign, she said.
Student campaigns were started
in the late 90”s, Brady said, and it is only through student volunteers spreading the message that the campaign has really taken off.
In 2001, employees gave $309,013 and in 2002, they gave $312,915 without the match, she said. Employees are matched dollar-to-dollar, one-to-one.
Employees for BYU include people ranging from faculty to people working at the MTC.
In 2002, students gave 7,229 gifts, amounting to about $1.2 million with the five-to-one match. Choose to Give never sets a dollar goal for students, they just want to have student participation, Brady said.
In 2002, 23 percent of the students gave gifts. This year, Brady said Choose to Give would like to have 30 percent of students give.
In two years, BYU has received over 2.8 million dollars because of student giving, she said.
“I was a BYU student, and I received far more than I could ever give back,” said Mike Fronce, 24, a senior from Beaverton, Ore., majoring in marriage family human development.
Students need to realize they are only paying for 30 percent of their education, he said. Seventy percent comes from a lot of other people making it possible for students to be at BYU, and to accelerate the mission of BYU, Fronce said.
“It is more about feeling like you are building the kingdom of God, blessing the kingdom God and sacrificing for the kingdom of God,” he said. “For a lot of students, a few dollars is a sacrifice.”
In the past three years that Choose to Give has taken place, the percentage of gifts given by students has increased to the point where the percentage of student giving is reaching the percentage of alumni and employee giving, Fronce said.
“One of the ways that I have been able to see my money used to benefit students is seeing the money go directly to students,” he said. “The whole purpose of the campaign is to create the habit of giving, to benefits students and to benefit students that give.”
Service creates a good feeling and when you”re doing things for other people, you feel good, Fronce said. The purpose is not to get a lot of money, he said.
“The effects of this campaign will go on for a long time,” he said.
Dave Johnson, co-founder of Choose to Give, said he was sitting next to a student in a computer lab, who said he only gave $10 to Choose to Give, but he knows it will turn into $60, and it can have a bigger effect on someone else”s life than it would on his.
“The amazing thing was he shared with me that he”s a newlywed, and that times are kind of tight,” Johnson said. “Money that he and his wife decided to give, they would have spent going to a dollar movie or at Taco Bell that weekend. They gave up a date that weekend to help someone in need.”