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Five myths of donating to the United Appeal debunked

With OHIO committee member Jessica Wingett

The United Appeal for Athens County fund drive is again in full swing. But, many in the University community still have some unanswered questions.

As giving letters and pledge cards filter through the University community, Ohio University Compass and Jessica Wingett, United Appeal committee member and manager of the Office of Research and Grants at the College of Osteopathic Medicine, have set out to clear up some myths about the United Appeal campaign.

Myth 1: Money from the University’s campaign for United Appeal goes to Ohio University
“The reality is, we are calling this contribution a simple gift, but it’s a gift from the people at the University,” said Wingett. “When you fill out a donation card at a University drive, it is a United Appeal card.”

Funds from donations are distributed throughout Athens Country to organizations affiliated with the United Appeal, not to the University.

Myth 2: Donations through University payroll are tracked to force participation
“There’s an idea that payroll information is being used to track employees who are not giving and those people will be pressured into donating, which absolutely is untrue,” said Wingett.

All OHIO employees are encouraged to give, but participation is not required, nor is there any penalty for those who choose not to donate.
Myth 3: Administrative costs soak up donation funds
“Some people think [United Appeal] overhead costs are so great, but your contribution is going where you think it’s going,” said Wingett.

The United Appeal website* gives figures of donations for each partner agency.

Myth 4: Ohio University expects administrators and faculty to participate
“The United Appeal committee has set goals for the University, and goals are not expectations,” said Wingett.

The committee would like to increase participation and donations, but does not expect it.

Myth 5: Donations don’t stay in the region.

“The money stays here. It doesn’t go all over the United States,” explained Wingett.

For national organizations like the Red Cross*, donations are given exclusively to the Athens County Chapter.

Campaign update

Ohio University faculty and staff have currently donated $32,983, almost 39 percent of the total goal. 

However, only 4.4 percent of the Athens Campus faculty and staff have donated thus far. The United Appeal committee's goal is for 20 percent participation.