Penn’s Way kicks off workplace giving campaign, with $1.6M goal

The Penn’s Way Campaign encompasses three organizations—Penn Medicine, the Philadelphia Alliance for Change, and United Way—each of which utilizes their expertise to confront the challenges facing the community.

The campaign is a way for the University to be there for one another, and to make a difference for those in need.

This year’s campaign theme, “Go Far Together,” is aimed at drawing attention to the generosity and thoughtfulness that embodies Penn.

Penn’s Way co-chairs Maureen Rush, vice president for Public Safety and superintendent of Penn Police, and Pat Sullivan, the University of Pennsylvania Health System’s chief quality officer, serve with other Penn’s Way faculty advisers.

“The other part of that is, ‘If you want to go far, go together,’” says Rush. “The campaign is built on three pillars: health care disparity, food insecurity, and social justice.”

Last year, the campaign raised $1.5 million during the height of the pandemic, “which is truly amazing,” says Rush. This year, Penn’s Way hopes the University family will again come together to reach the goal of $1.6 million.

“We’ve always based our goals roughly on what we raised in the past year,” she says. “We’re still not out of COVID, so we’re going a little higher than last year with the hope that we will accomplish that.”

The Penn’s Way Campaign began on Oct. 4 and runs through Nov. 19. To join in supporting communities by making tax-deductible donations, participants can go to the Penn’s Way website to enter a pledge online. Donors can give through payroll deduction, check, or credit card. Payroll deductions begin with the 2021 calendar year payroll. Penn’s Way will no longer accept cash donations.

“I have co-chaired the Penn’s Way campaign for 20 years,” says Rush. “In the early days of the campaign, we used paper pledges. We wanted to move away from paper pledges due to privacy concerns. First, we created a steering committee with members from across the University and Penn Medicine. The committee, comprised of University and Penn Medicine business units, such as Payroll, ISC [Penn Information Systems & Computing], and Penn Medicine I.S. [Information Services], created one platform that supports our Penn’s Way website online giving platform, making donations seamless online. University Communications and Penn Medicine Creative Services have created an amazing collateral communications campaign.”

Participants may choose to donate as little or as much they’d like, to as many agencies they want.

“We like to say to people, even if everyone gave $5, it would absolutely project us into another giving stratosphere,” says Rush.
The campaign’s call to support others is deep-rooted and unwavering, and the Penn’s Way campaign honors the culture of generosity and caring that exists among our workforce, says Rush.

“We believe that people who work at the University and Penn Medicine are very generous people,” she says. “They are able to see needs, and they step up and fulfill those needs. The reason that we ask people to donate and give back to their communities through Penn’s Way is because it becomes, then, one big platform that is so much more viable to the organizations receiving gifts and pledges. And it also gives the spirit of the Penn community visibility to everyone.”

Through donations, the Penn’s Way campaign hopes to help build stronger neighborhoods, improve the quality of life, and provide options for healthier living for all people in our region.

“We want to support the organizations that are part of the campaign,” Rush says. “We feel that we will, as we said, ‘Go far together.’ We are able to support the organizations that support the three pillars much better as one Penn’s Way campaign with wonderful Penn University and Penn Medicine Health System people giving together.”

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