University of South Carolina

Family Fund

University faculty, staff can impact Carolina

By Liz White,, 803-777-2848

Brandon Cochran This October marks the beginning of another year for faculty and staff to give back to the USC community through the Family Fund, the annual giving campaign for university employees and retirees.

In June, Brandon Cochran joined the Carolina community as the assistant director of annual giving. He talked with USC Times about the campaign and how faculty and staff can make an impact at Carolina.

USC Times: Can you tell me a little about the Family Fund?

Cochran: The Family Fund is the university’s annual faculty and staff campaign, allowing university employees to become more engaged in their professional roles.  To date, university employees and retirees have contributed more than $44 million, supporting our university and its campuses, students, programs and initiatives. 

Are there any parameters or limitations?

No. Carolina has more than 5,000 available funds that faculty, staff, and retirees can support.  University employees and retirees are encouraged to support the academic area that means the most to them.  Many donors choose to make a gift where the need is the greatest.  Other donors may choose to support a specific department or program, technology improvements, the library, athletics, or one of many scholarships available to Carolina students

So you can give to a specific area and determine where your donation goes?

Exactly!  The Family Fund promotes many of the university’s available funds. There are different funds, programs, scholarships and initiatives that a faculty and staff member can give to. Any faculty or staff member can give to an array of funds, whether it be to support a specific department or support a fund he or she feels the most passionate about.

Why do faculty and staff make donations?

Giving is a personal decision and each employee who donates to Carolina has their own answer to that question.  In addition to their daily contributions, a financial contribution is a different, and important way, to demonstrate his or her investment in Carolina. Overall, supporting the Family Fund is an opportunity for university employees to have a rewarding experience that not only helps other faculty and staff but also helps the students to have a great experience at Carolina.

What is your role in the Family Fund?

My ultimate role is to promote the Family Fund and increase its participation.  To do that, my goal is to meet with department chairs and leaders around campus and encourage university employees to participate.  It is important to understand that it is not about the size of the gift, it’s about the act of participation that counts.  Being a steward of the Family Fund allows me to meet faculty and staff around campus, learn how the Family Fund has impacted their department or program. I hope to become a recognizable face to many university employees the more I am on or around campus promoting the Family Fund.

So you’re the face of the Family Fund?

The Family Fund has many faces!  Every employee at the University is the face of the Family Fund!

How can faculty and staff donate?

Donating the Family Fund is simple.  Employees can gift through payroll deduction, check, or a debit/credit card.  It’s as easy as having $1 deducted per pay period or making a one-time gift of $100.

What do you hope happens with the Family Fund?

My goal for the Family Fund is for it to continue to grow its participation rate every year.  Personally, I’d like to see university participation reach between 40 and 45 percent. In addition, I’d like for our annual faculty/staff campaign be a leader among the SEC schools as well as the leading program in the state of South Carolina.

For more information about the Family Fund, please visit

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Posted: 09/25/12 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 09/26/12 @ 4:03 PM | Permalink



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