Fall campaigns bring Work for Art to 83% of goal with four months remaining

Thirty-three workplaces have announced their employee giving totals for the 2011-12 “Work for Art” campaign, and those gifts, combined with other contributions received between July 1, 2011 and January 31, 2012, total $703,326. With several more campaigns scheduled for the spring, Work for Art is on track to beat last year’s campaign total of $765,000 by June.

Among all employee giving campaigns conducted thus far, Portland General Electric leads the pack, raising $78,699 from 238 employees, including the company’s 50% match. Last year’s top company, The Standard, currently ranks second in campaign revenue at $68,094 from 82 employees, including a 100% match of employee gifts. NW Natural also matches 100% of its employees’ contributions, and has raised $55,893 from 119 employees.

The executive director of the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), Eloise Damrosch, also announced today the results of a friendly challenge that was issued last fall by Carole Morse, president of the PGE Foundation and honorary chair of this year’s Work for Art campaign. “Carole and our other top companies went into the campaign with a little competition: which company could increase their number of donors the most? We are thrilled to announce that PGE won that challenge, and their employees stepped up this year in record numbers – 238 employee donors in all, up 59% over last year. Several other companies bested their numbers from last year as well, including NW Natural, OHSU, and Multnomah County employees, and we congratulate them all.”

Overall, workplace giving campaigns account for $367,522 of the total raised thus far. Gifts from individuals not associated with any workplace, and other miscellaneous gifts, have brought in an additional $43,656. And, because Work for Art features a matching challenge fund (which includes the City of Portland, Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties, and RingSide Fish House as its investors), all gifts from employees and other individuals are matched dollar for dollar, adding another $292,148 to the campaign to date.

“We are truly grateful for all of the companies and individuals who are participating in this year’s campaign,” Morse said. “With a little help from our spring campaigns yet to come, it’s going to be a record year.”

At least 20 companies are lined up to help Work for Art raise an additional $146,674 this spring in order to meet its aggressive goal of $850,000. Burgerville, which raised over $16,000 last year, kicks off its employee giving drive this month, culminating in a “Feed the Arts” Day on Thursday, March 8. A portion of every sale at all 38 Burgerville locations on that day will benefit Work for Art.

KeyBank is also gearing up for a strong campaign in March, led by Brian Rice, President of KeyBank Oregon and SW Washington District. “Banks have consistently cared about their community, and this is a wonderful opportunity for us to demonstrate that again,” he said. “At KeyBank, we truly believe that funding the arts is everyone’s business, and we invite financial institutions of every shape and size to join us in raising money for arts education and all of the other vital services that our arts organizations provide in our community.”

Several more companies will be running a Work for Art campaign for the first time this spring, including Bank of the Cascades, the Portland Timbers, and the Portland Business Alliance.

All workplace campaigns are wrapped up by early June, and the official campaign total will be announced before July 1st. A full 100% of all money raised through Work for Art is passed on to arts organizations through RACC’s competitive grant programs. Although Work for Art raises most of its money through workplace giving, anyone can make a contribution and receive the related benefits, including the Arts Card, which provides a full year of 2-for-1 tickets at hundreds of local arts and culture events for donors who contribute $60 or more. For more information, and to contribute online, visit www.workforart.org.