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December 12, 2005

Gift Administration staff gear up for year-end giving

By Ann Gibb

For the staff of UCSC's Gift Administration Office, holiday giving has an extra meaning: the annual rush of donors hurrying to capture tax deductions by making year-end donations to the campus.

Photo: Student in library

Prompt year-end processing by UCSC Gift Administration staff helped with the establishment of the Karoline A. Delaney Chemistry Endowment. Delaney endowment funds will provide students such as Joe Westlund (College Ten) with more chemistry resources at the Science & Engineering Library.
Photo courtesy of Science & Engineering Library

"Beginning in December and continuing into early January, we process between 600 and 1,000 donations to UCSC each week," said Kathryn Buckholdt, manager of Gift Administration, which is located off campus at 509A Swift Street. "Next to fiscal closing, it's our busiest time of the year."

They are expecting a higher volume than usual this year, as donors take advantage of the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act, which provides two federal tax breaks on gifts to tax-exempt organizations, including UCSC.

To keep up with the rush, at least two members of the five-person Gift Administration staff work on each of the two vacation days of campus closure. "It's what we choose to do," said Buckholdt. "We get so busy it's hard to walk away and leave the work."

One staff member even works on New Year's Eve, processing last-minute credit card donations arriving via UCSC's online giving site.

The campus benefits from their dedication. One year-end donor, Karoline Delaney (Crown '87), was reflecting on her annual giving when she decided to create a library subject endowment. "Because my degree is in chemistry," said Delaney, a patent attorney, "I have a special interest in wanting to benefit the scientific collections." She e-mailed a library staff member on December 29th, and by the next day the new Karoline A. Delaney Chemistry Endowment, honoring UCSC's Chemistry Department and professors, was established. Gift Administration's prompt processing helped make this possible.

Although this story had a happy ending, donors are encouraged to send gifts as early as possible. This helps avoid unanticipated delays, such as postal-delivery problems or bank-cutoff dates for processing. UCSC faculty and staff members campuswide are also urged to forward any gift checks they may receive from donors to the Gift Administration Office--campus mail stop "UR Swift--as soon as possible.

Large or small, each donation receives the same attention from Gift Administration, and each donation makes a difference for the campus.

For more information on year-end giving, including securing the tax benefits, see the Give to UCSC web site.

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