The 2021 UNM Gives United Way campaign began Friday, Oct. 1, and once again due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, critical family needs across a variety of areas are being highlighted.

This year’s UNM Gives United Way campaign runs through Nov. 30, which is #GivingTuesday, a global movement of generosity designed to unleash the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. United Way of Central New Mexico (UWCNM) collaborates with hundreds of community partners to focus and align around a set of shared strategies designed to improve family stability and educational attainment. These two initiatives represent a comprehensive approach to improving outcomes for children, youth, and families at scale.

Ways to donate to the UNM Gives Campaign

A number of opportunities exist for interested individuals to donate to the UNM Gives campaign including:

  • Donating directly to the United Way of Central New Mexico to benefit charitable programs and organizations in our community. When you donate to a cause, you know your contribution is making the difference you desire. 
  • Donate to the UNM Foundation, an entity responsible for raising private financial support benefiting UNM and helping donors link their passions with the institution. If you wish to support a UNM program, scholarship or focus area. 
  • Donating time and talent is just as important as financial support. Interested individuals can log donated time to local nonprofits as part of the campaign. Faculty, staff and students donate thousands of hours yearly, which could also be designated for the UNM Gives Campaign. Volunteering connects our pack with local community service organizations.

For more information on the fundraising campaign and ways to give, visit UNM Gives.

“Commitment to community, generosity of spirit, and an endless capacity for kindness are all hallmarks of the Lobo way of life,” said UNM President Garnett S. Stokes. “Our annual UNM Gives Campaign provides our faculty and staff with an opportunity to provide compassionate and effective support for communities across New Mexico, many of which are still struggling to recover from a devastating pandemic. Your contribution to the United Way of Central New Mexico helps our pack give back—and change lives for the better.”

There are many ways to give to the UNM Gives United Way Campaign and it doesn’t take a lot to make a difference. Individual donors can choose to give to any of the United Way programs or you can designate another organization you’re passionate about. It’s easy and convenient to donate online or via paper at the UNM Gives website, whether you are a UNM Employee (including UNM HSC), or you work for UNM Hospitals (UNMH), UNM Medical Group (UNMMG), or UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center (SRMC).

“Last year, nearly 950 Lobos raised almost $530,000 for our community. We appreciate the generous contributions made last year and are encouraging all our staff and faculty to consider participating this year,” said UNM Gives Campaign co-chair Abra Altman. “As our community and country struggle with the continuing challenges of COVID-19, your support and compassion have never been more critical. Every contribution counts and every gift makes a difference – if each of us can find a way to give even just a small amount, collectively at UNM we can have a profound impact on our community.”

One of the direct ways the UWCNM is trying to assist those in need during the pandemic is through its COVID-19 grant fund. Donors can choose to donate to this non-profit fund that focuses on assisting clients with rental and childcare assistance, affordable housing and other services that help families and individuals become or remain housed.

Another important fund for UWCNM is the Community Investment Fund. Feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, keeping children safe, and empowering the disabled and elderly are just a few examples of what giving to the Community Investment Fund can help accomplish. Last year, United Way of Central New Mexico gave out $3.1 million in grant money to 80 nonprofit programs in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance and Valencia counties. That’s 28 more nonprofit agencies and $1.2 million more in grant funding than 2019-2020, demonstrating the continued need for community giving.

Through a combination of collaborative change projects, public policy advocacy, community mobilization efforts, and grantmaking, UWCNM works with hundreds of community partners to focus on families in central New Mexico. Other available community investment grants include impact grants that focus on education/youth development and family stability; basic needs grants support emergent needs, such as food and emergency shelter; and capacity building grants to help improve a nonprofit's ability to fulfill its mission.

During the 2020 annual campaign, UWCNM raised more than $17.2 million, including $306,000 for COVID-19 Recovery. In addition to the $3.1 million granted, UWCNM distributed donations in the amount of $8.8 million to more than 1,200 agencies and their programs per donor-designated requests.

UWCNM also invested $1.4 million in its impact work creating educational opportunities and helping families build resiliency through its initiatives and programs including Mission: Families, Mission: Graduate, 211 information and referral service, Family Advocacy Center and Tax Help New Mexico.

To learn more about the various ways your donations to UWCNM can help those affected by COVID-19 in NM visit UWCNM.

The UNM Gives United Way campaign is coordinated across all UNM campuses and hospitals by a planning committee that has met for several months to develop and lead ways in which faculty, staff, and employees can come together to donate time and money to charitable organizations to give back to the community that has provided so much for the institution.

UNM has been a proud supporter of the United Way for nearly 30 years. Its participation in the United Way Campaign goes far beyond supporting the annual campaign. Throughout the year, many faculty, staff, and students volunteer with UWCNM, participate in events, and help through service and volunteering. As the challenges of COVID-19 continue, a small donation from every Lobo can potentially have an enormous cumulative positive impact on our state.

For more information, visit UNM Gives United Way campaign.