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Cal Parents Fund: Encouraging the impulse to give

By David Peterkofsky

New Cal Parents’ co-chair aims to inspire giving among current students

Why wait to teach your UC Berkeley student about the importance of philanthropy?

When it comes to sharing the joys of charitable giving, there’s no time like the present, according to Wendy Bingham, new co-chair of the Cal Parents board. Bingham has long understood the virtues of fundraising and philanthropy, her family having played an integral role in raising funds to make the California Academy of Sciences’ home in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park a reality.
“It’s a learned action, kind of like doing a resumé,” Bingham says of giving. “We can teach our kids that it’s important for us all to commit to giving to something that’s given to us, or to something that we believe in.”

Including a UC Berkeley education.

To that end, last fall Bingham made an initial seed gift—along with several other Cal Parents Board members—to encourage current Berkeley students to take part in Big Give, the university’s one-day fundraising drive. The gift generated participation from 683 current students—just over 6 percent of all donors that day—and helped Berkeley garner over $11 million in gifts for Big Give 2016.

After Big Give, what remained of Bingham’s gift was directed to the Senior Gift Campaign, another annual effort in which soon-to-graduate students give back to the campus that gives them so much.

“The gift was designed to educate students about the integrity of philanthropy at any level—and to encourage them to prioritize giving back to Cal,” Bingham says. “They benefit, future students benefit, and no matter the size of their gift, they help to shape their future community.”

The campus’s next Big Give is Thursday, March 8, 2018, and we’re counting on the support of Cal Parents like you—and your students! To learn more, visit

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