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Birgit Castledine has new responsibilities as manager of annual giving. Before Birgit came to UVic, she was a fundraising consultant to non-profit organizations in Ontario and a teacher working for CUSO, first in Tanzania and later in Malaysia. Her concern with world issues continues to influence her life. My overseas experience colours my view of the world even today and makes me appreciate that we are one small world.
Castledine is a former president of the Association of Vancouver Island Fund-Raisersan organization dedicated to ethical and professional fundraising. Her daughter is attending UVic as a third-year student in microbiology, and her husband is a UVic 81 grad with a PhD in biochemistry.
For Castledine, the past seven years have been an exciting time to work at UVic. Ive seen tremendous growth in both the number of donors and the amount of money given. We took a program that was raising $400,000 a year and increased fundraising to $8 million last year. Now its time to build on these successes by re-focusing on our annual giving program.
She sees annual giving as the solid fundraising base that provides UVic with money that can be spent now. This will be increasingly important over the next few years as government cutbacks increasingly affect us. One of the areas she will concentrate on is the Presidents Council, a group of donors who give $1,000 each year. We have donors who give regularly and never miss a year. They support their favourite areas year after year. We want to recognize and build on that loyalty.
During the coming months Castledine will also be working with deans to establish new associates programs, an ongoing source of funds designated for use in particular faculties.
Catharine McLeod is also a familiar face in our office, though she now wears a new hat as annual giving coordinator. Her experience as a caller in the first student calling campaign in 1990 was followed by positions in the Development Office as a student calling assistant and student calling supervisor. Shes a 92 UVic grad with a BA in psychology, which gives her a unique perspective in training new student callers who will be contacting alumni. Being a recent graduate, Im still new enough to recognize names, and I can personally relate to current new grads and the employment situation and many other issues facing the graduates of today. I realize now that Ive benefited from other alumni support. We have to keep giving so that other students will also benefit. Working here has made me realize the importance of private funding.
McLeod has been busy this past summer organizing a myriad of things so that when the student callers begin work Sept. 11, things will go smoothly. This is no mean feat for a program that will be contacting over 29,000 alumni and friends. I think its important to have students doing the calling. Our alumni are able to relate to someone who knows what UVic is all about. When we call, our students know that were not just interested in getting a donation. We provide information and help increase awareness of UVic and its programs. Most importantly, we try to keep the lines of communication open. The University is interested in hearing what our alumni have to say, and if we dont have the answer to a question immediately, we make every effort to find out and follow up.
McLeod is also assisting with the faculty and staff annual giving campaign that starts in October, and in the coming months will be working with faculties to establish graduating class giving campaigns, encouraging graduating students to pledge donations to their own faculties or departments.
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