Royal Roads University has been running United Way Greater Victoria fundraising campaigns since the mid-’90s. Year after year they keep raising the bar. What started as a student-oriented activity to raise $300, quickly grew into an annual flurry of campus challenges to up the ante. Online auctions, raffles, duck races, candy incentives – you name it, they’ve done it.
In the process, Royal Roads has successfully raised over $800,000 by mobilizing faculty and staff to step up for their community. Last year, they exceeded their goal and achieved an astounding 33% participation.
Fittingly, Royal Roads was recognized at this year’s United Way Spirit Awards as the “Outstanding Workplace Campaign”. United Way’s Spirit Awards celebrate excellence in community giving among our many volunteers, workplace donors and corporate supporters.
Royal Roads’ mighty campaign committee includes several long-standing members who continue to return with fresh enthusiasm, like past Campaign Chairs Cindy Goodman and Cecelia David. Their spirited ability to motivate faculty and staff to donate their time, talent and treasures is one of the many reasons why Royal Roads excels in their fundraising efforts.
“It’s easy to see that there are people in need, even in my own circle,” says David. “Royal Roads sponsored me to be a Campaign Associate in 2015 and my personal experiences at United Way made me much more aware of the many varied needs, and allowed me to share this knowledge with my colleagues.”
“For me, I believe my donation could be helping my next door neighbour, a friend, a co-worker,” says Goodman. “If the time comes when I do need to take advantage of a resource, that resource will be there for me through the generosity of others.”
This year the torch was passed to Kyla McLeod, who joined the committee in the role of Campaign Chair. “I think being philanthropic is part of the fibre of Royal Roads,” says McLeod. “And as an institution that delivers professional and applied learning, being involved in this campaign is an excellent way for faculty and staff to walk the talk.”
Their campaign efforts fully embody the university’s core values – caring, accountable and creative – and they believe in making the act of giving back accessible.
Championing their efforts and rallying the University for United Way’s annual Post-Secondary Challenge is Allan Cahoon, Royal Roads University President and Vice-Chancellor. Cahoon developed the challenge concept in 2008 to find a creative way to support United Way while engaging Victoria’s post-secondary community in a friendly competition.
Camosun College, the University of Victoria, and Royal Roads battle it out every year with the collective goal of helping more people in our community – Cahoon and his team took home the coveted President’s Cup in 2011.
“The United Way campaign helps Royal Roads demonstrate how we care for the members of our community and how important it is for us as an education provider to help build awareness of the need that’s out there,” says Cahoon. “I encourage people to participate as much as they can.”
“People are happy to be a part of something bigger than themselves,” says the committee. “Knowing you made positive change in the world is a pretty powerful feeling to take with you when you go home at night.”