By Meaghan Thurston-Dawes
McGill is celebrating a milestone in its support for the fight against poverty in Greater Montreal. The McGill Centraide campaign announced today that it has met its highest fundraising goal ever, and surpassed it by almost $20,000. At the time of publication, the grand total stands at $444,559, and pledges are still coming in.
“The generosity of the McGill University community to Centraide of Greater Montreal is inspiring,” says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Suzanne Fortier. “We are pleased to have exceeded our goal of $425,000 for this year’s campaign. We extend our thanks to all who have supported the Centraide campaign; your contributions will provide support to the most vulnerable Montrealers.”
Every year, from the beginning of October until the end of December, organizations and individuals across Montreal are asked to contribute toward Centraide of Greater Montreal’s campaign goal, set this year at $57 million. Centraide redistributes the funds raised to approximately 370 organizations and projects that assist low-income individuals in and around Montreal. McGill has participated in the campaign for over 10 years and is one of the top workplace fundraisers.
“We are humbled by the generosity of the McGill community — students, faculty, and staff as well as retirees, alumni, and members of the Board of Governors — who banded together to make a big difference for Montrealers living in poverty,” says campaign co-chair Rosie Goldstein, Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations). “The 2014 campaign marks the highest level of contributions and participation in recent memory.”
Some 814 McGillians made one-time donations or committed to giving throughout the year via payroll deduction in 2014, an increase of more than 267 donors — a 49 per cent jump — from 2013. The campaign also observed 30 per cent increase in the number of “Leader” donors, those who contributed $1,000 or more to the campaign.
“The jump in the participation rate has been remarkable,” said Daniel Jutras, campaign co-chair and Dean of Law. “Though universities are once more facing tough economic times, McGill’s community has rallied to show that we are committed to giving back, and to giving a little more.”
The campaign co-chairs said the campaign was a “University-wide effort,” and its success is due in large part to the hard work and enthusiasm of the campaign committee members, who represented units across the University and took the lead in organizing events, including bake sales, book drives, loonie walks, as well as a 50/50 raffle. The winner of the McGill-Centraide 50/50 raffle was Jessica Lalonde from Student Accounts, who received $612.90 with an equal amount going to the campaign.
McGill’s students got involved in several different ways, including organizing a trivia night at Gert’s Pub and a Senate samosa sale.
“SSMU is proud to be part of the McGill campaign,” says Courtney Ayukawa, campaign co-chair and SSMU president. “I want to thank all the student donors and also express my sincere appreciation to the student volunteers who said “yes” with enthusiasm when I asked for their help co-ordinating fundraising activities.”
The campaign co-chairs stressed, however, that while the McGill campaign has exceeded its goal, the fight to end poverty in Montreal is far from over.
At the time of this article Centraide is still short of its 57 million goal. McGill community members can still give until Dec. 31.
Learn more about how to donate and view the campaign highlights on the McGill-Centraide website. The final campaign tally will be announced in January.