Giving Tuesday donations exceed expectations

by Life Editor Monday Sanderson

There are many opportunities for students and alumni to demonstrate their charitability, whether it be volunteering or donating. Giving Tuesday, the last Tuesday in November, is a day where people can give or donate.

UNA raised $41,868 Nov. 29 on this year’s Giving Tuesday.

“We were extremely pleased to have over 220 alumni and friends give through this social media push,” said Deborah Shaw, vice president for university advancement.

Shaw said the university promoted the event on its social media accounts.

“It’s just 24 hours of trying to get the word out and trying to get people to share,” she said. “A lot of people chose to challenge their friends. That’s what you hope to see.”

This is a great accomplishment, said sophomore Ethan Thomas.

“It’s amazing that the university was able to earn this amount all in one day,” he said.

Giving Tuesday began in 2011 as a response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, according to casefoundation.org.

Shaw said this is the first time UNA has participated in the event.

“Several other universities have tried this in the past, so we just decided that it was time for UNA to try it,” she said. “We decided this over six months ago. We wanted to see how alumni and their friend base would respond.”

The money went to several different areas, Shaw said.

“We chose to let the donors decide where it goes,” she said. “When people can say, ‘I am a graduate of the College of Business, and I want it to go to business,’ or, ‘I want it to go to Athletics,’ they are more likely to donate. That usually is more effective. Some do it unrestricted, and that just means it goes toward the university.”

The money went to three different categories, said Haley Brink, director of annual giving. These categories are unrestricted, endowments and capital.

“Most of the money went toward the unrestricted category,” she said. “This category is for those who didn’t want to donate to a specific department or college. $23, 578 went to this category.”

Brink said $11, 645 went to the Science and Technology Buildin and $6, 645 went to endowments, which are scholarships.

Thomas said he believes the money should have went to the school in general.

“I understand the reasoning, but I believe having the donors choose shows too much favoritism,” he said. “With this method, there is always going to be a department left out.”

Brink said she was shocked by the turnout.

“We went into the day expecting only 100 donors,” she said. “We didn’t set any monetary goal because we were more focused on giving instead of how much they gave. I’m really happy that everyone who participated beat our goals.”

Shaw said they will participate in the event again.

“We want to increase our efforts and the amount that we got,” she said. “We felt like this was a great test run, and we thought it was very successful for our first time ever.”

Shaw said she hopes more people will donate next year.

“What was important for us was not just the money raised, but how many people chose to give, especially if they were first time donors,” she said. “So, even if the amount (they donated) was small, it is still considered very successful because we got new donators.”