Donors: Our Most Important Partners
Daniel Linden III, Director of Student Support Services
The stories we tell in the pages of the SALT Center journal would not be possible without our most important partners – the incredible donors who contribute their ‘time, talent and treasure’ to support the SALT Center’s success.
This year more than ever before, our partnership with SALT Center donors was essential. Whether through our Advisory Board’s strategic counsel or the donors who gave so generously, we would not have been able to meet the increased needs for financial, educational, and emotional support resulting from COVID-19.
The SALT Center’s Advisory Board consists of volunteers who not only give their time but their expertise in support of our work. These individuals’ deep connections to the SALT Center are a result of being alumni, parents of former/current students, trustees, or campus colleagues. The expertise they freely share ranges from financial and strategic planning to marketing and organizational development. They also play a critical role in helping the SALT Center deepen ties with other University of Arizona units. They were instrumental in advancing our efforts to make the SALT Center available to Arizona Online students and are closely involved with our current partnership with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). Through both these efforts, we aspire to expand the capacity of the SALT Center to support all University of Arizona students—whether online or through supporting colleges.
Our donors were also extremely sensitive to the financial challenges associated with COVID-19 for both the students and SALT Center’s operations. The sudden shift online led to a significant increase in the intensity of support needed for those enrolled in the program. At the same time, we saw a significant spike in the number of students who needed financial support to maintain access to our services. Unbudgeted expenses were covered in a way that allowed for equitable availability of support for students and staff. This lessened the burden on an already complicated financial situation.
SALT Center donors stepped up in unimaginable ways, particularly as many of our families were also experiencing financial hardships associated with the economic downturn. We saw an increase in all gifts, particularly in large gifts. The primary focus of donors was students’ wellbeing and without their support we would not have been able to adjust our services to meet their needs. One donor committed his gift to SALT Center operations, mindful that there would be unforeseen expenses. By supporting those costs, he was also ensuring that the SALT Center would not be put in the position of having to use program resources for operational costs.
Another huge concern that was addressed through our donor partners was the spike in frequency and intensity of student requests for wellness and psychological services. Because of the commitment of one of our donors to student health and wellness, we were able to increase the amount of time our Clinical Director was available to spend with students and we added a post-doctoral trainee to the team to help provide ongoing wellness and psychological support.
The power of our partnership with donors is both practical and transformative. Donor partnerships help us shape and realize the SALT Center’s role in the larger goals of the University while also providing the practical support and counsel to meet the needs of all University of Arizona students—whether in the SALT Center, within our colleges, or around the world.
In the words of University President, Robert Robbins, “The University of Arizona is committed to the success of each and every student.” With the support of donors, our most important partners, the SALT Center helps to realize that commitment each and every day.
Support the SALT Center
Your gift to benefit the SALT Center is tax-deductible when you give through the University of Arizona Foundation. Learn more about our giving priorities and make a gift at: giving.arizona.edu/SALT.