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News Release NR-3109

NREL Employees Pledges to Community Rise Significantly

Charitable Giving Campaign most successful on record

December 4, 2009

Employees of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) pledged 57% more to community organizations during its annual charitable giving campaign this holiday season.   

For 2010, employees have committed more than $318,000 to the Partnership for Colorado and Mile High United Way, a significant increase over the $182,000 donated by employees in 2009.  The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, which manages NREL for the Department of Energy, will contribute another $30,000 to the agencies, for a total contribution or more than $348,000. 

“I am impressed by the generosity of the NREL staff,” said NREL Director Dan Arvizu. “I want to thank our campaign co-chairs, Robert Hawsey and Syl Morgan-Smith for a campaign that far surpassed our goal of $250,000.”

Employees designated about two-thirds of their gifts to community service agencies under the Partnership for Colorado banner, and the remaining money to United Way agencies and other specified charitable organizations.

“We are one of the few organizations in the Golden area that is growing – we’re hiring and we’re building,” said Robert Hawsey, NREL associate lab director and campaign co-chair.  “It only makes sense that our contributions to the community grow too.  I am very proud that we have doubled the number of employees participating in the campaign this year.” 

Campaign co-chair Syl Morgan-Smith said, “The annual campaign gives us at NREL an opportunity to share our resources and to thank our community at a time when so many people need help.”

NREL has a unique approach to community giving, allowing employees to designate their funds to any agency served by Partnership for Colorado or the United Way, or to any nonprofit agency of the employees’ choice. 

“I felt it was important for me to give my personal financial support to this community where I live and work,” said Peggy Rendon, NREL employment specialist.  “And when I toured several of the agencies that worked with at-risk youth it was a strong reminder of how far our support goes toward making our community better for all of us.”

Donations have been pledged primarily through payroll deduction for 2010 and will be delivered to the agencies periodically through the year.

“Nonprofit organizations face difficult business decisions during tough economic times having to offer less help when people need it most,” said Alyssa Kopf, CEO of Community Shares and director of the Partnership for Colorado Campaign.  “Thanks to the generosity of NREL employees, many in our community will be able to access services they depend on most this year. " 

Partnership for Colorado is a nonprofit coalition of four local giving federations working together to efficiently offer increased charitable choice to employee giving campaigns.  Federations are the Black United Fund of Colorado, Community Health Charities of Colorado, Caring Connection and Community Shares of Colorado.  The partnership represents more than 200 local nonprofit agencies. 

Mile High United Way represents 80 local agencies to help people in the metro Denver area.

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.  NREL currently has about 1800 employees, most of which live in the metro Denver-Boulder community.

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Visit NREL online at www.nrel.gov

For further information contact NREL Public Relations at 303-275-4090.
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