Laurier recognised with United Way Rising Star Award

Wilfrid Laurier University has recently become the recipient of United Way Waterloo Region Communities Rising Star Award for its 2019 fundraising campaign. 

This award recognizes new or returning campaigns that demonstrate initiative and growth throughout the campaign period.

“We had a committee of faculty and staff from across all campuses that worked really hard to really get the word out there and encourage participation from employees at the university,” Pamela Cant, Chief Human Resources and Equity Officer and Laurier’s campaign co-lead said. 

All funds raised for United Way Waterloo Region Communities are used to support a network of local agencies with programs or services that deliver community-wide benefits. 

“This was the first year that I have been co-chair of the campaign. Bridget McMahon who’s our AVP of alumni and community engagement and myself were asked by Dr. McLatchy to be the co-leads of the campaign for this year.” 

“Bridget and I co-lead for the first time last year, we’ll continue to do so this year,” she added. 

Laurier raised over 82, 000 dollars for United Way’s Waterloo and Brantford chapters — reaching about 20, 000 higher than the original target set for the campaign. 

“One of the keys to our success last year was really challenging senior leadership to give, and have as many senior leaders at the university give as possible,” Cant said.

“So, that is assistant vice presidents, deans, or similar positions at similar levels, and we were able to get a very high participation rate from those two groups and many of them gave at fairly significant values.” 

Cant said that igniting some friendly competition between staff helped to propel the campaign.

“We would remind them regularly what percentage of their colleagues had contributed and encouraged those who haven’t contributed to please give as much as they can.”

They also hosted fun campaign events such as a lunch at Wilf’s and staff dress-up day for Halloween, Cant explained. 

“We just tried to make it fun and engaging and really challenge our senior leaders to take a leadership role and really model that giving behavior that we were asking our entire employee base to participate in,” Cant said. 

The Rising Star Award was one of eight awards presented at the organization’s award ceremony, held virtually on Aug. 19. 

The campaign started late last summer, with efforts focused in the month of October. 

“That’s when we did most of our communications and most of our events and really targeted [for] those four weeks in October,” Cant said. 

Laurier has worked to fundraise for United Way for a number of years, providing Laurier with an opportunity to give back to the community. 

“Since I’ve been an employee at the university, which has been about 15 years now, the annual United Way campaign has always been prioritized and communicated and really encouraged amongst employees,” Cant said.

“I think United Way is a really important organization within our community. They help so many people in so many different ways. I think as a university, we really have, I would say, an obligation to our community, and I think this is a great way for us to show our support for our local communities in Brant and Waterloo region.”

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