La Trobe University has taken the number one place in Australia for university workplace giving. In only its second year of staff giving, the program has achieved over 400 gifts and a participation rate of over 12%.
This places La Trobe ahead of Queensland University of Technology’s established staff giving program, acknowledged recently is The Australian as the biggest staff giving program in an Australian university, attracting 369 staff contributions (8.5% participation rate).
In an effort to make staff giving fun, visible and inclusive, a campaign was developed around the central concept of The Golden Lanyard – a visible emblem to symbolise staff donors’ support, similar to The Breast Cancer Foundation’s pink ribbon campaign. The concept and call-to-action was simple; all staff making a gift (of $20 or more) would receive a distinctive yellow lanyard in recognition of their gift.
The campaign also attracted strong leadership support with all senior executive staff asked to make a leading gift and to promote it to their direct report line managers. Likewise peer-to-peer communication led by campaign ‘champions’ via social networking and email, helped to seed the message across faculties and campuses and build a sense of excitement and community spirit.
Key to the campaign’s success was its link to La Trobe values. All gifts to the campaign were directed to student equity scholarships, and gifts from staff working on regional campuses were directed back to the campus to be distributed to local students.
“La Trobe staff are very passionate and vocal advocates of student equity scholarships. Many of our staff work directly with students and have witnessed first-hand, both the challenges faced by students from disadvantaged backgrounds and also the difference that higher education can make to their lives,” said Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar.
In total over $60,000 has been raised and four new equity scholarships (over a three year period) created. $15,000 has been allocated to emergency relief for Melbourne-based students and $10,000 raised from the regional campuses has been directed back to local students.