THE GOAL of the United Negro College Fund, founded in 1944, is to provide a major source of annual financial support to 41 private, historically black colleges and universities.
Funds raised from headquarters in New York, 33 area offices and hundreds of volunteers all over the country go to the member institutions primarily to help keep tuition down, make necessary repairs and upkeep, improve libraries and research capabilities and provide highly qualified faculty members. A small portion is given in scholarships and financial aid to the 50,000 students who enroll.
Maryland's area office is at 34 Market Place, Suite 331, Baltimore, (phone 752-8623). Besides fund-raising, it also offers a resource and reference to students seeking UNCF colleges, of which there are none in Maryland. The nearest are two in Virginia -- Union University in Richmond and St. Paul College in Lawrenceville.
(The UNCF member colleges and universities are located as follows: South Carolina has four; North Carolina has six; Florida, three; Virginia, two; Mississippi, two; Louisiana, two; Georgia, six; Tennessee, four; Texas, five; Alabama, five; Arkansas, one; Ohio, one.)
According to Wendy Moore, area development director, volunteers are the organization's resource for office help and raising funds. The largest fund-raiser is the annual telethon.
The ''Lou Rawls Parade of Stars'' telethon has for 10 years been UNCF's only national telethon held in support of higher education.
On Jan. 11, 1992, the six-hour telethon will air over WBAL-TV, Channel 11. Last year, $200,000 was raised and this year the goal is $300,000.
Two of the most active volunteers to UNCF are Betty Boone, telethon chairperson, and Garland Brown, the telethon vice-chair. Both began volunteering seven or eight years ago as telephone operators at the telethon.
Boone works for Bell Atlantic in Silver Spring where she is an assistant manager. She has been with the company for 26 years, lives in Baltimore and has two children and three grandchildren. She also volunteers to the NAACP, where she is an adviser in its youth caucus, where children are trained to plan programs and give community service, she says.
Brown teaches social studies at Franklin High School in the Baltimore County school system where he has taught for 20 years. He and his wife, Addie, also a teacher in the county school system, have four children.
Brown cites several reasons for his volunteering to UNCF. ''I attended a UNCF school and so have my children. But more importantly, these surviving historically black colleges are the only means for some black youngsters to get an education. Many are very, very bright, but their high school education has not equipped them to attend a mainstream college, and they need nurturing to complete college work. The UNCF colleges supply an inordinate number of leaders for these children,'' says Brown.
''I also know that the primary source of income for many of the colleges is the UNCF funds. In speaking with college administrators, I was told that the UNCF donation was the largest private donation which they received and that it amounted to 8 to 10 percent of their total budget,'' he adds.
In Baltimore, UNCF has a board of approximately 20 people. Its campaign chairman is Bruce Hoffman, executive director of the Maryland Stadium Authority. Penny Hill is Wendy Moore's assistant, and there are about 300 volunteers on 19 committees governed by Boone.
Anyone wishing to volunteer or contribute or learn more about the UNCF member institutions should call Wendy Moore at 752-8623.