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  • Employees Care About Pima County (ECAP)

    County employees pledged $265,000 to nonprofit organizations in 2022

    Lesher video 
    County Administrator Jan Lesher discusses the importance of ECAP.
    Despite the challenges presented by a tough economy in 2022, Pima County employees donated slightly more than $265,000 to charities and nonprofit organizations throughout the community as part of the 53rd annual ECAP campaign.

    The final tally was $265,359 for ECAP. The campaign is a joint effort between Pima County and the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona.

    “County employees really came through even though it was another difficult year,” said Judy Cooper, chair of the ECAP Steering Committee. “Coming off two years of pandemic restrictions, this time it was inflation that really ate into everyone’s paychecks, but many people still found it possible to be generous.”

    The U.S. Labor Department reported last week that the annual inflation rate for the United States was 6.5% for the 12 months that ended in December.

    Even so, Cooper said the pledge rate across the county workforce only dropped 2%, from 22% to 20%, compared with 2021 figures. Also, per capita pledges increased from $44 to $87 and the average gift increased from $218 to $256.

    “Once again, Pima County employees proved that they care deeply about their community,” Cooper said. “I think our employees deserve a pat on the back for their giving.

    “I also want to give a big shout-out to all the ECAP solicitors and coordinators for their outstanding efforts throughout the campaign. Without them and their hard work, none of this would be possible.”

    While the campaign struggled in its early stages — at one point lagging the 2021 figures by about $40,000 — in the end it only came up about $5,000 short of last year’s total of $270,634.

    “I keep saying that next year is going to be better,” Cooper said, “Maybe for our next campaign we’ll finally get over that $300,000 total.”

    Cooper said county employees selected a total of 238 charities and nonprofits to receive donations. The top recipient was again the county's own Ending Poverty Now program, which received $22,616 in pledges.

    Rounding out the top five were the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, $17,073; Youth On Their Own, $12,987; Planned Parenthood-Tucson, $9,446; and the Pima Animal Care Center, $8,915.

    Other major campaign beneficiaries were the Community Impact Fund, $8,125; Friends of Pima Animal Care Center, $7,416; Emerge! Center Against Domestic Violence, $6,939; the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, $5,505; and Tucson Mountain Baptist Church, $4,875.

    All donations will go to the donors' charities of choice. No monies go the county or the United Way for overhead costs.

    The ECAP Steering Committee is planning an award ceremony on April 20 to honor departments, solicitors and coordinators. Meanwhile, the 2023 campaign is slated to kick off on Sept. 20.

    How to donate

    Are you a new employee or did you miss the annual campaign? Simply complete a pledge form and email it to ECAP@pima.gov.

    Giving is completely voluntary. Your pledge can be either a one-time gift or made through payroll deductions.

    The United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona will send all county employees an email with an electronic link on Sept. 14, 2022.
    • If you registered last year, enter your username and password.
    • If you forgot your password, click on the Forgot Password link to reset it. The directions for a reset will arrive via email.
    • If you did not register last year or are a new employee, you must register at the United Way/Pima County ECAP site.
    • Employees will follow that link to register for this year’s campaign.
    • Add a username; business or work email; a password; and confirm password; work email must be used as business email when registering.
    • A confirmation email will be sent from StratusLive to your work email with the subject “Confirm your email address”
    • Click the “Confirm my email address” button; this will take you to your account
    • Click save and return to the United Way/Pima County ECAP site
    • Once you return to the Pima County Giving page, click on “Click to Give Now.”
    • Start your pledge with your contact information. (Please provide your address if it has changed and/or if you would like a physical acknowledgment from the United Way).
    • Questions? See Page 13 of the ECAP training manual.

    ECAP earns Circle of Excellence Award from United Way

    In May 2022, ECAP earned the Circle of Excellence Award from the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. ECAP was one of 25 local agencies or organizations honored with the award and was presented with a glass trophy at a United Way awards banquet.
    “This award means a lot to ECAP because it reaffirms the generosity and warmth of Pima County employees and their desire to help the less fortunate, children, seniors and animals,” Cooper said. “This award recognizes the hard work the ECAP committee puts in year-round and especially during the campaign season.”

    The Circle of Excellence Award is given to agencies and organizations whose employees excelled in raising funds for the community’s needs.

    “I am very proud of the committee and applaud their continuing efforts and support of this very important program,” Cooper said. “Without the hard work the ECAP committee puts in and the strong employee engagement throughout the three-month campaign, this effort would not be a success.”

    Learn more about charitable organizations

    All agencies are hoping that Pima County employees continue to open their hearts with their support. An agency guide, agency videos and pledge forms are available throughout the year on the ECAP website.

    Tony Penn

    Ending Poverty Now

    The Ending Poverty Now fund goes to support organizations in the community that are using a curriculum called “Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World” to help break the cycle of poverty.

    More information about the program can be found by clicking on the Ending Poverty Now tab below.

    ECAP Information

    ECAP Steering Committee

    The organizing body of the Employees Care About Pima County (ECAP) program sets the direction of the appeal program, promotes its activities and administers and manages the annual employee participation drive in coordination with the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. Members come from nearly a dozen County departments large and small. ECAP is the largest and most generous program of its kind in Southern Arizona.
    Judy Cooper
    Judy Cooper, Chair
    Phone: 520-724-3727

    Joanna Dinan, Vice Chair
    Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation
    Phone: 520-977-0816

     Linda Volkerink
    Linda Volkerink, Secretary
    Information Technology
    Phone: 520-724-7984

    Judy Moses
    Public Library
    Phone: 520-594-5602
    Judy Moses

    Monica Robinson
    Monica Robinson
    Phone: 520-724-2854

    Magda Murtey
    Phone: 520-724-6366
     Magda Murtey

    Bonnie Bazata
    Community & Workforce Development
    Phone: 520-724-3704


    Dalila Perez
    Community & Workforce Development
    Patty Short
    Community & Workforce Development

    Martin Rosales
    Sylvia Molina
    Behavioral Health

    Dedra Clark-McGee
    Arika Wells
    Pima County Attorney's Office

    Mathew Wells
    Behavioral Health
    Michael Bergan

    ECAP Photos


    ecap UW award  UW big check
    Members of the ECAP Steering Committee pose with Jan Lesher after receiving the Circle of Excellence Award from the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. Jeffrey Petrovic, chief development officer for the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, receives a ceremonial check from County Administrator Jan Lesher.
     EPN big check  Petrovic speaks
    Bonnie Bazata, left, manager of the county's Ending Poverty Now program, receives a ceremonial check from Jan Lesher. Petrovic speaks at the May 2022 ECAP awards ceremony at the Ellie Towne Flowing Wells Community Center.
     Lesher speaks  awards audience
    County Administrator Jan Lesher addressing the audience at the awards ceremony. About 75 people attended the awards ceremony at the Ellie Towne community center. 
     award trophies  award balloons
    Trophies were given to county departments that outperformed their peers in generating donations.  The 2021-22 ECAP campaign raised slightly more than $270,000 for nonprofits and charitable organizations in the community.

    Ending Poverty Now

    Interfaith Community Services (ICS) is a lead partner with Ending Poverty Now and receives funds from the generous contributions of Pima County employees through ECAP. EPN partners with ICS on three of those programs:

    • Getting Ahead in a Just Getting By World is a 50 hour curriculum that supports people experiencing poverty to take an in-depth look at what causes poverty in their own life and in the community, and then develop a new future story themselves.  
    • RESET provides much longer-term wrap-around supports like classes, financial support, individual coaching EPN classesand more. RESET drew from ICS’ own programming as well as Pima County’s MAMA (Mother’s in Arizona Moving Ahead) program. 
    • The Bridges Financial Management Class is a 20-hour financial management class written by and for people who experience “the end of the money coming before the end of the month.” It’s an interactive, judgment free space where people can get tools to gain control of their finances and connect with financial mentors who are there to coach and share expertise.
    “When people are chronically under-resourced for a long time, it often takes more than just some job leads and a resume to help someone get a job,” said Tina Bommarito, ICS’s Workforce Development Coordinator. “EPN has given us new tools we can use.” 

    When the pandemic hit, ICS responded quickly to the dramatic increase in basic needs, like food boxes.  But they also maintained their programs focused on supporting families to get ahead and achieve self-sufficiency. To make this possible, they transformed their in-person programs to a virtual format. 

    “I was so impressed at ICS’s commitment to continue serving people through the pandemic,” said Bonnie Bazata, EPN program manager. “Making the shift to a virtual format is not easy – as most of us know – but ICS used it as a way to widen their reach and connect with even more people. It’s exciting to see the difference they are making.” 

    “Our goal is to help families move ahead with sustained support -- and these three programs are key to achieving that,” said Lauryn Valladarez, ICS’s Director of Self-Sufficiency Programs. “The EPN program supports us not just with dollars, but with trainings, curriculum support and advice.  We are so grateful for this partnership and for the caring and generous Pima County employees.”


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    Employees Care About Pima County (ECAP)

    150 W. Congress St.
    Fifth Floor
    Tucson, AZ 85701
    Email: ECAP@pima.gov

    Judy Cooper, Chair
    Phone: 520-724-3727

    Joanna Dinan, Vice Chair
    Phone: 520-724-5363
    Email: Joanna.Dinan@Pima.Gov

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