VIU Employee Giving to United Way Smashes Previous Record

(Pictured from left) United Way’s Corrie Fortner; VIU Provost and Vice-President Academic Dr. David Witty; VIU Employee Giving Campaign Associate Laura Shanner; VIU Employee Giving Campaign Associate Deborah Hopper; United Way’s Lori Masse; VIU President Dr. Ralph Nilson.

January 16, 2017 - 9:00am

The 10th annual VIU United Way Employee Giving Campaign raises more than $40,000 for Central and Northern Vancouver Island United Way

The 10th annual Vancouver Island University (VIU) United Way Employee Giving Campaign wrapped up with a bang. A few last minute pledges rolled in just after the closing bell rang to push the donation total to $40,776. The amount was more than 12 per cent above 2015’s previous campaign record of $36,344 and is the largest year-over-year increase yet.

Donations from VIU employees increased across all three campuses - Nanaimo, Cowichan and Powell River - and also increased from VIU's Deep Bay Marine Field Station further north on Vancouver Island to make it a record-breaking year. 

VIU’s Employee Giving campaign associates Laura Shanner and Deborah Hopper drummed up support and kept the effort moving forward. As United Way campaign associates, VIU gives them time from their University jobs to coordinate the annual fundraising initiative. It was their first time taking the reins of the campaign and both said they were deeply moved to see the enthusiastic support offered by so many of their colleagues across the VIU community. 

“I’ve had such a wonderful time working on the United Way campaign. I learned so much about the local research, programs and resources coordinated through United Way,” said Shanner, who has personally been a United Way donor for more than 20 years. “I’m more impressed with the organization than ever before and I’m also truly impressed with the high level of community awareness at VIU. Community engagement is not just a phrase in the University’s value statement, but a genuine commitment running from the top administrators all the way through to part-time and temporary staff.”

Hopper says she feels blessed to have had the opportunity to work on the campaign and she looks forward to continuing to support the United Way in the future.

“The United Way has been an important part of my giving for many years so to have this opportunity to actually work directly with their team has provided an even deeper understanding of, and appreciation for, the work this incredible organization does and the services they support in our communities,” said Hopper. 

VIU Provost and Vice-President Academic Dr. David Witty is a passionate supporter of the Employee Giving Campaign and the United Way. He says he couldn’t be prouder of what VIU employees came together to accomplish.

“Through this campaign VIU employees showed a generosity of spirit and commitment which helps the United Way to positively impact the lives of Vancouver Islanders,” said Dr. Witty. “From supporting weekly meal programs for adults with mental illness to providing support for Indigenous early-years education and parenting, the range of projects and organizations supported through the United Way is note-worthy for its breadth and depth and it’s why VIU is proud to be a supporter.”

United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island Executive Director, Signy Madden, says the organization currently funds 83 programs that assist 26,000 people in the communities they serve.

“VIU’s Employee Giving Campaign is key to what the United Way is able to do in the Central Island and Cowichan Valley,” said Madden. “And what’s so cool about VIU is that we work together with them not just on this campaign but in a number of different, very important ways.”

She says throughout the year student internships are facilitated with non-profit agencies near VIU campuses, VIU resource staff support specific initiatives where needed and staff and students from the University volunteer on a number of initiatives and serve on several campaign committees and Impact Councils.

“We tap into VIU expertise for research projects and to participate on committees that address issues important to our community. It’s a relationship that, among other things, helps us to determine where to invest funding where it will have the greatest impact,” said Madden. “Our relationship is not just about dollars donated. It’s that, combined with the enthusiastic engagement happening between VIU and the United Way throughtout the year that is making a significant difference in the communities we serve.” 


Dane Gibson, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

P: 250.740.6288 | C: 250.618.7296 | E: |  T: @viunews

Tags: In the Community