Approximately two weeks into the One Purpose fundraising campaign at California State University, Stanislaus, volunteers have already collected $116,148 in pledges for scholarships that will go to students who demonstrate academic excellence.
Volunteers have pointed to the many connections they are making in the community as a motivating factor in their efforts to reach the $1 million fundraising goal.
“The energy of our One Purpose volunteers in just the first two weeks of the campaign has been tremendous,” said Shirley Pok, Vice President for University Advancement. “The pledges reported so far have come from alumni, community supporters and local businesses that hire our graduates. These contributions demonstrate an understanding that student success is truly important to the growth of our region, and that there is potential to make a great impact by investing in our students.”
This past week, One Purpose volunteers and team leaders John Jacinto, a CSU Stanislaus alumnus, and his wife Edith hosted a benefit with the help of local restaurateur and chef John Surla to raise funds for the campaign. Nearly 50 supporters attended the event and they received more than $24,000 in pledges from the event at Surla’s.
Another CSU Stanislaus alumna, retired nurse Nola Moccafiche, made a $10,000 contribution to the campaign after being inspired by One Purpose and stories from current students.
Other notable at the $10,000 level, the highest tier for donors, were donated by Donna Pierce; by volunteers Michael and Alison Allen, business owners at Allen Mortuary; and by volunteers Allen and Pennie Rorex, donated by Emanuel Medical Center.
Michael and Alison Allen have also stepped up to lead a team of volunteers, in addition to their pledge. They said the highlights have been sharing in each other’s successes and encouraging team members.
“We have been sharing the fact that 80 percent of CSU Stanislaus graduates live here and contribute to the region — people are so impressed when they realize the impact that has on the community,” said Alison Allen, who is also a CSU Stanislaus alumna. “When we tell people about our involvement in One Purpose and the opportunity to provide scholarships for students, we’ve found that they have already been hearing buzz about the fund drive in the community, and they are just ready to give.”
Fundraising campaigns that utilize the team concept are uncommon in higher education settings, however CSU Stanislaus sees the team effort as opportunity for campus and community volunteers to build relationships in the region through their fundraising efforts, strengthening support, and advocacy for the University.
“Building connections between the University and the community is important,” said Jim Tuedio, Dean of the CSU Stanislaus College of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and leader of a team of campus and community volunteers. “What is neat about this fundraising concept is that it links people from the campus to people in the community, and they in turn link to others.”
Theresa Lunt, a One Purpose volunteer, CSU Stanislaus faculty member, alumna, and parents of a daughter who began at the University this fall, received a scholarship when she attended the University and understands the positive impact such awards can have on students.
“I am so happy to be part of such an important cause,” she said. “It is a thrill to be able to pay it forward to current and future students.”
Many volunteers have said they are motivated to share the message of the campaign with other, believing that investment in the students of CSU Stanislaus is crucial to building a college-educated workforce in the area.
“When someone decides to contribute to One Purpose, their pledge will give them instant gratification, but it will also have a long-term impact on the students and the community,” volunteer Pennie Rorex said. “We have just four weeks left in our campaign — and when we make our goal, we will celebrate together.”
For more information, or to give to One Purpose, contact the Division of University Advancement at 209-667-3131 or visit https://www.csustan.edu/one-purpose.