GCU employees asked to Donate to Elevate
By Laurie Merrill
GCU News Bureau
As it kicks off its fourth year, Grand Canyon University’s Donate to Elevate campaign is seeking the largest contributions yet — $1.5 million — and the highest employee participation rate — 85 percent — in the state tax diversion program.
Randy Bellah, director of academic alliances support at GCU, said it’s a tall, but realistic, objective.
“Employees are changing lives by giving,” Bellah said this week during a meeting of the designated University champions who will present Donate to Elevate to their respective departments through mid-February. “You are our ministry. You are loving on others.”
GCU started the program in 2013, added Habitat for Humanity as a beneficiary in 2015 and has enjoyed steep increases in both employee participation and money raised every year. Employees contributed $218,000 in 2013, $349,000 in 2014 and $869,000 in 2015.
Here are some facts about Donate to Elevate:
- Employee pay is not affected. There is no difference in your take-home pay.
- Through the University’s payroll system, you can choose to have your state tax dollars diverted to educational and community partners.
- The three avenues of charitable contributions are School Choice Arizona (qualified private schools), public schools or Habitat for Humanity. To read a story about a Phoenix teenager who has benefited from Donate to Elevate, click here.
- Last year, 789 employees donated to Habitat for Humanity, 751 donated to private schools and 158 donated to public schools.
- Employees in departments with 85 percent participation are eligible to each receive one-half of a Lopes Day off, Bellah said. Last year, an average of 33 percent of employees participated, he said.
- The redirected funds are pre-tax dollars, GCU payroll handles the paperwork, and employees receive a statement at tax time.
- The contribution cap for School Choice Arizona is $545 per year for single tax filers and $1,090 for married couples filing jointly. For Habitat for Humanity, the tax cap is $200 for single tax filers and $400 for married couples filing jointly.
- For more information, click here.