The Partners in Giving campaign raised over $2.1 million dollars in charitable donations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Partners in Giving is affiliated with the State, the University of Wisconsin and UW Health Employees Combined Campaign of Dane County. The organization runs events such as online trivia and bingo to garner charitable donations from local employees. This year, 4,500 employees pledged to contribute $2.1 million.

Partners in Giving held an online ceremony to thank the thousands of employees for their donations. During the event, they presented a symbolic check to over 500 charities. The ceremony was recorded and uploaded on the Partners and Giving website.

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During the ceremony, Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan commended the volunteers working at Partners at Giving for their hard work.

“I don’t know that there has ever been a time where it was harder to volunteer or it necessitated a more creative approach to raising money and supporting the organizations we wanted to support,” Brennan said.

Brennan said fundraising in the fall of 2020 was highly successful despite the challenges COVID-19 posed.

Various UW departments recieved awards. The UW General Education Administration received first place in both per capita contributions and total dollars raised. The UW Division of the Arts showcased the greatest percent increase in participation, another significant achievement.

Partners in Giving Marketing Committee Chair Linda Eggert said it was especially challenging to balance online and in-person fundraising events, so the organization decided to pursue a 100 percent virtual approach.

“It was challenging, but also really rewarding to see how everybody responded,” Eggert said.

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Eggert said UW Health employees offered an overwhelming amount of support.

Eggert also said independent charities have experienced increased constraints due to the pandemic, making Partners in Giving an essential source of support.

The official Partners in Giving website states employees can donate to the charity or charities of their choosing via payroll deduction, credit card, check or cash.

Since beginning in 1973, (with the title “State Employee Combined Campaign”) Partners in Giving has raised $81.6 million in charitable donations.