WWU’s Third Annual ‘Give Day’ on June 1 brought in more than $600,000 in much needed resources for student scholarships, research, travel, equipment and much more.
More than 1700 donors made 3,854 gifts totaling $641,751, including $181,750 in matching funds. This represents a 21 percent increase in the number of donors over last year’s Give Day and an 18 percent increase in Give Day gifts.
WWU Give Day is a one-day, 24-hour online donation event put on annually by the Western Foundation in partnership with departments and programs and was started in 2016.
“It is a grassroots fundraising effort in the spirit of crowdfunding,” said the Western Foundation’s Angie Vandenhaak.
Give Day is a way for students, faculty, staff, alumni and community volunteers to advocate for their favorite programs at Western, share the great things they are doing and invite others to support their efforts. It gives them a chance to come together with a common goal of creating more opportunities for current and future students.
There were a number of challenge funds available to inspire new and increased support of WWU students and programs, including 1:1 challenges for specific programs like the IDEA Institute and the Morse Endowment for Undergraduate Research Experiences in Chemistry. There was also a 2:1 challenge for student gifts, inspiring more than 321 gifts from 258 students, a 39 percent increase in student participation over last year. Every gift that wasn’t matched by another challenge received a 30 percent match from the WWU Give Day Challenge Pool.
The WWU Alumni Association sponsored a challenge providing an additional $1,000 to the five programs that received the most gifts on WWU Give Day: Men’s Crew, the Marketing Department, Women’s Volleyball, the Formula SAE club and the Behavioral Neuroscience program.
These programs, and many others across campus, came up with unique strategies to encourage support of their programs on WWU Give Day. For example, on the night before ‘Give Day,’ some neuroscience students, faculty and staff stayed up until midnight to be the first to donate and reach out to alumni. The program uses these donations to fund student research.
Yuliya Rybalka, Administrative Services manager for the Behavioral Neuroscience program, said the donations would make in immediate impact.
“We have a great relationship with a lot of our donors and great support for the program. We saw Give Day as an opportunity to maximize our funds,” said Rybalka.
The date for WWU Give Day 2019 will be announced in August; the entire campus community is invited to get involved. For more information about Give Day, please contact Angie Vandenhaak at Angie.Vandenhaak@wwu.edu.