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Last year, Johns Hopkins contributed about $2 million to the $42 million raised by United Way of Central Maryland. Of that, more than $1 million was raised by Johns Hopkins Medicine alone.

Of all the JHM entities, the School of Medicine contributes the most ($535,000 last year), but only 15 percent of its faculty and staff participate. Here’s how JHM entities stack up, based on last year’s participation figures:
Johns Hopkins Hospital/JH Health System Corp 24%

Johns Hopkins University School
of Medicine

Health Divisions Administration 15%
Johns Hopkins Community Physicians 45%
Johns Hopkins HealthCare 30%
Johns Hopkins Home Care Group  ??
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center  20%
Howard County General Hospital  22%



Women Leading the (United) Way
These big givers are counting on more to take that next, big leap

United Way super-givers, from left, Judy Reitz, Joanne Pollak, Toby Gordon and Patty Brown. Not present: Barbara De Lateur, Julie Freischlag.
What is it about women philanthropists and health care at Johns Hopkins, anyway? Back in the late 1800s, when the men organizing the School of Medicine couldn’t seem to lay their hands on the cash needed to open its doors, four women, all daughters of original University trustees, went out and raised the requisite half million all by themselves.

Now, more than a century later, a new generation of women philanthropists is leading the way in this year’s United Way campaign. Nine people from Johns Hopkins are part of the local charity’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society, a group of super-givers who contribute at least $10,000 annually. Of the nine, six are women.

To be fair, more men would likely be among this select group had they been courted by the persuasive Patty Brown. But Brown, who joined de Tocqueville several years ago, became involved in its Women’s Initiative, a group of corporate women who give at the same $10,000-and-above level. As that group’s “Johns Hopkins representative,” she brought in JHM vice presidents Judy Reitz and Toby Gordon, Surgery Chair Julie Freischlag and General Counsel Joanne Pollak. Barbara de Lateur, former chair of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, was already on board.

Now the president of Johns Hopkins HealthCare is co-chairing this year’s Hopkins United Way campaign. “Every employee is being asked to give,” says Brown. “They need to know that their leaders are doing it, too—and at big levels.”

Reitz wishes even more were giving at those levels. “In order to take the next leap in increasing organization-wide giving, more of our colleagues need to step up to de Tocqueville and lead the way. Until they do, we’ll be stuck at mediocre organizational participation.”

Early in her career, Reitz became involved with a couple of United Way agencies based in East Baltimore quite near the hospital. Since then, she’s made United Way a major piece of her philanthropy. “United Way stands alone in its ability to reach out to the neediest among us. No organization is so uniquely positioned to do so much for so many.”

Each year, Reitz designates her contributions to a range of United Way agencies that have a particular resonance for her—those that offer, say, job training or aid women with substance abuse or mental illness. Brown, on the other hand, doesn’t designate to any one particular agency, so her gift is distributed among all the charity’s more than 100 agencies—its over-arching “community safety net.” “I’m sure my dollar is well allocated because United Way has an infrastructure already in place to understand the different kinds of need in the community,” she says. “I can make one financial gift; it will have an impact on numerous areas that have need.”

Taken together, the United Way of Central Maryland’s agencies represent the organization’s chief purpose of sheltering the homeless, counseling abused women and helping people find jobs. This year, for the first time, donors will not be able to earmark contributions for private schools and arts organizations, like the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra—proof, says Brown, that “the United Way is in the process of redefining itself and emphasizing its core missions: health and human services.”

Today, there’s lots of excitement around women as philanthropists in their own right. It’s a phenomenon, Reitz believes, that stems from women’s natural interest in nurturing, in reaching out. “Now more than ever before, they are positioned in the workforce to personally see the larger need. It’s the exposure that’s the driving force—not the economic wherewithal.” Committed to cultivating a new generation of women philanthropists, Reitz has involved her daughter, a 27-year-old labor lawyer, in WINGS (Women’s Initiative Next Generations), a sort of “little sister” group to the Women’s Initiative, whose members contribute at least $1,000.

This year’s United Way campaign kicks off Oct. 4 and lasts only two weeks, instead of four. The concentrated time frame presents a more well-defined opportunity to lock United Way firmly into people’s consciousness. “For just two weeks, we want people to stop and listen,” Brown says. “We want them to put the campaign on their calendars, ask questions about United Way, get answers, and then fill out that pledge form.”

—Anne Bennett Swingle

Secrets of Success

An SOM Facilities Management crew, attired in the United Way T-shirts they’ll be wearing throughout the campaign.
Throughout Johns Hopkins Medicine, certain departments and divisions run remarkably effective United Way campaigns. We checked out three of the best, hoping to uncover the secrets of their success.

SOM Facilities Management: For the past two years, this group’s participation has been holding at a robust 56 percent. (Only one other School of Medicine group was higher: administrative officers, at 69 percent.) FM encompasses 210 employees in custodial, maintenance, warehouse, AV, IT, and design and construction. But oddly, says department director Rich Sebour, employees in the lowest pay grades—those making around $19,000 to $20,000 a year—are the most generous. “I’ve had some tell me they give $300 to United Way. Now, $300 out of $19,000 is a lot of money.” Each year, FM holds its own kick-off meeting, complete with a United Way video and a speaker who tells about personal experiences with a United Way agency. “We bring it close to home,” says Sebour. “Then we collect the pledge forms.”

JHMCIS: Last year, 80 percent of Johns Hopkins Center for Information Services’ 222 employees gave to United Way, 2 percent over the previous year. The sky-high participation rate is a top-down phenomenon, emanating from department VP/CIO Stephanie Reel and JHMCIS managers and directors, all avid proponents of United Way giving. Solicitors are chosen because they genuinely care about United Way. Handling the details is Donna Poyer, manager of administration services. She personally picks up pledge cards at the widely scattered JHMCIS sites and routinely sends e-mail reminders to those who’ve not yet returned them.

JH Community Physicians: One of the liveliest campaigns around, this one features events at JHCP sites all across Maryland. There are balloon pops, candy guess jars, intranet auctions of autographed sports memorabilia, white elephant sales and more. Some events rack up as much as $450. Organizing it all is Lillian Trautfelter, JHCP administrative marketing coordinator. Trautfelter stages a breakfast, given each year by JHCP director Barbara Cook, for roughly 30 top givers. Solicitors, says Trautfelter, are vital to the campaign’s success. Everyday during the campaign, she sends out e-mail reminders about the importance of making a contribution. Last year, JHCP raised more than $47,500; participation was 45 percent.



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