The year 2020 has been unlike any other. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us in different ways: the way we work, the way we interact, the way we live. It is through this challenging and difficult year that the true light of philanthropy came shining through stronger than ever.
Nowhere is that more evident than the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) Catalyst Campaign — the most ambitious philanthropic initiative in UMB’s history. This $750 million campaign focuses on six areas of need: scholarship, faculty excellence, research, clinical initiatives, entrepreneurship, and community engagement. The campaign effort, co-chaired by two UMB Foundation board members, Ellen H. Yankellow, PharmD ’96, CEO of Correct Rx Pharmacy Services, and Brian J. Gibbons, JD ’87, CEO of Greenberg Gibbons Commercial, is making substantial impact. Through the extraordinary generosity of our UMB community, we have raised $579 million and expect to achieve a new milestone of $600 million, or 80 percent, of our campaign goal by year’s end.
To support our students, the UMB Foundation established 10 new student emergency funds last spring. Our initial goal was $100,000; instead, the UMB community responded in overwhelming numbers with 1,900 donors contributing $270,000 and counting to support our students. During these times, it is gratifying to know a culture of giving continues to flourish from all sectors.
The light of philanthropy also shines through our community engagement efforts. Philanthropy is playing an active role in bridging the digital divide: UMB is working with key stakeholders to provide broadband internet access to students so they can continue virtual learning in West Baltimore. Over 1,000 families (at $120 a year per family) have been supported by contributions thus far, with a goal to connect 2,000 families in need.
To learn more about how you can help shine philanthropy’s light across UMB’s schools and community engagement initiatives, contact the UMB philanthropy staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.