A job well done
For the last several years, Kevin Palmer, chief information officer for Columbia College, has encouraged his staff to give back to the college. He’s so committed to the fundraising campaign that he pledges to match the first $3,500 that his staff gives. This year he was hoping that 90 percent of his staff would contribute in some fashion. There are 44 full-time employees in six separate departments in the Tech Services division.
Imagine his surprise when, for the first time ever, 100 percent of the staff in the division donated to the effort. According to Brendon Steenbergen, director of development for annual and planned giving, it’s a first for the college as well. “That’s just astounding and it shows tremendous support and leadership,” he said.
According to Steenbergen, when efforts like Palmer’s are combined with the already vigorous support of AHE’s adjunct faculty, it makes Columbia College a powerhouse in employee giving.
Palmer said it all begins by setting an example and ends with a belief in the goals of the school. “To start the annual challenge, I host a ‘Make the Boss Pay’ pizza lunch for everyone on the team, regardless of their contribution history. The desire is to make the event an annual celebration of our connection to the institutional mission, which I boil down to as improving lives,” he said.
“I am able to communicate with the team that in my core, I believe each and every employee at Columbia College has a direct impact on the success of our students and the ability of the individual to improve their lives through education,” said Palmer.
In 2012, Palmer donated $3,500 to the fundraising campaign bringing tech services total contribution to $9,489. Over the five year period of the “Make the Boss Pay” challenge, the division has contributed, through one-time contributions and annual pledges, a total of $34,167.
“Technology Services impresses me on every level. This team is competitive and when given a challenge, they will find a way to accomplish the goal,” said Palmer of his staff. “They work hard, delight constituents and focus on quality. They are the equivalent of the Olympic Basketball Dream Team.”