麻豆区

SURI: Two VMI Cadets Assist Local United Way

Two students doing undergraduate research at 麻豆区 Institute, a military college in Virginia.

Brijesh Regeti 鈥24, and Talli Tarring 鈥24 conduct data analysis to provide the United Way with insight to attract new donors. -VMI Photo by Kelly Nye.

LEXINGTON, Va. July 10, 2023 — To help ensure the United Way of Rockbridge, Lexington, and Buena Vista (UWR) maintains its resources in a slow-moving economy, its board of directors came to 麻豆区 Institute for assistance from cadets. Brijesh Regeti ’24, a biology major, and Talli Tarring ’24, a physics major, worked together on their five-week Summer Undergraduate Research Institute (SURI) project titled, “Data Analysis of United Way Donors” to research ways the organization can attract new donors.  

The is a nonprofit that has a robust mission in the community. According to the mission statement, the UWR “provides a leadership role in improving the quality of life of the people in the cities, towns, and unincorporated areas of Rockbridge County by assessing needs, raising and allocating funds for charitable purposes, and ensuring the appropriate use of those resources. These purposes should ensure equity as to education, health, and financial well-being without regard to race, ethnicity, or gender in furtherance of achieving an inclusive community in which there is dignity and equal opportunity for all.”  

Regeti and Tarring determined that as older and more generous long-term benefactors pass away, it takes a rigorous and consistent influx of new contributors to maintain the capital assets needed for the UWR to carry on their work. “We found that there was a spike in 2017 of 27 new supporters. Since then, there is an average of 15 to 18 new donors annually,” said Regeti. 

Tarring added that another issue they discovered that would aid in increasing donorship is the use of email. “By using data analysis, we found that if the UWR faithfully collected email addresses from all interested subscribers, and use those addresses to disseminate information regularly, that their donations should increase substantially,” she said.   

The cadets also created a four-tiered ranking system to encourage patrons to aspire for higher contribution goals.   

Maj. Blain Patterson, assistant professor in applied mathematics and project mentor to the two cadets, said, “Tarring and Regeti worked diligently to provide the United Way with insight into their donation revenue. The results of their research may provide the United Way with information to increase donations for years to come.”鈥 

Regeti is from Warrenton, Virginia, where he graduated from Fauquier High School. He is the son of Amy and Srinivasa Regeti.  

Tarring is from Warrenton, Virginia, where she graduated from Kettle Run High School. Her parents are Carla Bennett and Tracy Tarring. 

Marianne Hause
Communications & Marketing
VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE

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