Giving Day brings charity to the UNA community

By Life Editor Tyler Hargett

Christmas may still be over a month away, but it is not too early to start giving.

UNA will host its second annual Giving Day Nov. 28, where anyone can donate to any UNA department or organization.

Director of Alumni Relations Haley Brink said people will be able to donate any amount they wish either online or over the phone.

“You can have smaller gifts come through all throughout the day, and you can see a large impact at the end,” she said.

If donors are unsure what department to donate their money to, they can make an unrestricted gift, which goes toward the area with the greatest need. All donations are tax-deductible, with every donor receiving an acknowledgement letter and e-mail confirmation.

“The more donors that we have, the more it shows the community is behind what UNA is doing,” Brink said.

The event falls on the same day as the holiday on which it is based, Giving Tuesday. A team at New York City’s Belter Center for Innovation and Social Impact created this in 2012 to give people a chance to donate to their local community or charity.

Coordinator of Annual Giving Elizabeth Tyson said one way to encourage others to donate is through challenges on Facebook. When contributors make a gift online, they have the option of sharing participation on Facebook and tagging friends.

“We call this starting a ‘givalanche,’” she said. “By challenging friends on Facebook, we are able to reach a much larger network of people.”

“So many people sponsor UNA, and we should just be able to (give back and) make them proud,” said sophomore Allie Freeman.

Having the option to donate online is beneficial to alumni who live too far away to visit the campus frequently, Freeman said.

The Student Government Association is getting involved with the event through a social media campaign to raise money for the SGA Endowed Scholarship.

Freshman Forum is also hosting a fundraiser for Friends of the Lions, an organization that helps feed the UNA lions and upkeep their habitat.

“The lion cage has not been updated in a long time,” said freshman Linden White, Freshmen Forum chairperson for outreach and philanthropy committee. “Our mascots hold a very important role at UNA. So, we need to keep our habitat updated.”

The fundraiser is a result of a $1,000 matching gift being pledged to Friends of the Lions. This means that, if an amount of money up to $1,000 is raised, this will be matched by the pledger, resulting in a double-sized donation.

Other matching gift pledges UNA received include $1,000 to the College of Arts and Sciences and $5,000 to the Alumni Association Sci-Tech pledge, as well as any alumni scholarships that have yet to reach endowment.

Last year’s UNA Giving Day raised $41,868 through 224 gifts. Most of the money went toward current use funds in the UNA Foundation.

“I’m honored to be a part of something so special,” White said. “I think all students, faculty and staff should get involved.”

Students can make gifts on Giving Day by visiting una.edu or by calling 256-765-5080. To make an early donation, visit https://www.una.edu/campaign/give.html.

For more information about how to donate, visit https://www.una.edu/dayofgiving/.