After the success of last year’s inaugural SIU Day of Giving, there was added buzz around this year’s event.
Beyond the excitement of raising much-needed funds and increasing awareness of the university’s philanthropic mission, there were two traveling trophies on the line. One would be awarded to the college/unit that raised the most money, and the other would go to the one that received the most individual donations.
Even before the Day of Giving on March 7, many deans embraced the competition, even participated in good-natured banter. Many colleges set up booths to encourage donations. Word of the competition spread, and some colleges extended their booth hours to increase their chances.
For most of the day, it was unclear who would earn the trophies and the bragging rights that come with them.
In the end, the College of Education and Human Services raised the most money with a whopping $96,996. The College of Applied Sciences and Arts had the most individual donors, totaling 306.
CASA Dean Andy Ju An Wang and COEHS Dean Matthew Keefer accepted the awards from Chancellor Carlo Montemagno on March 26.
“This day of philanthropy is great for the university. The outcome has made it clear that participation is more important than the amount of dollars raised,” Dean Wong said with a wink.
Keefer was happy his college earned the monetary title, but was quick to point out the value of reaching as many donors as possible.
“This was a huge morale boost for our staff, and I have to hand it to Dean Wang for the number of gifts he brought in,” he said. “That is really what it is all about is getting first-time donors and students engaged in giving back.”
Montemagno thanked the deans and their staff for their efforts.
“The SIU Day of Giving is a reflection of the community’s commitment to ensure the future of the next generation,” he said. “It’s great to know that we understand the importance of paying it forward and that giving today is giving for tomorrow’s students.”
While the statistics are still being analyzed, Matt McCoy, the SIU Foundation’s director of constituent relations, said he expects that the number of first-time donors and the number of students who gave to far exceed last year’s totals.