For the third straight year, Waynesburg University and it’s community has surpassed its donation goal for the annual Day of Giving. The goal set for alumni, faculty, staff, students and their families was at least 1,200 gifts. Last year, the day of giving saw 1,152 individual gifts donated to the university.
According to Stacey Brodak, vice president of institutional advancement and University Relations, that goal was exceeded by 33%, receiving 1,610 individual donor gifts.
“We could not be more proud of the students, faculty and staff that worked hard to help us excel,” said Brodak. “This event not only raises funds, but it also cultivates new relationships and it unites our campus community by putting Waynesburg University in the spotlight for a few days surrounding the event.”
She also said that because the university has seen significant growth in terms of interest in the yearly event, they were hopeful to see that trend continue and were ecstatic to see the goals they outlined met.
One of the largest attention drawing aspects of the event is the incentive for students to donate to their department. In the first year of Day of Giving, the Department of Communication received the grand prize for bringing the most donations on behalf of the department. In the second year of the event, athletic teams were given the opportunity to raise money on behalf of their teams and compete for the prize money. In the second year, the men’s and women’s soccer teams won the grand prize and the Department of Communication came in second.
This year, the prizes were broken down into categories. One overall grand prize winner, first and second place prizes within academic departments, and the first and second place prizes for athletic teams.
The men’s and women’s soccer teams won the grand prize for the second year in a row. In the academic category, the Department of Communication received first place and the Biblical Ministry Studies program took second place. For the athletic category, the softball team got first place with the football team go falling second.
The concept of a ‘Day of Giving’ is not something completely new though as Institutional Advancement was inspired by the approaches of other universities in raising funds.
“A ‘Day of Giving’ concept was starting to be implemented more frequently across non-profits and other Universities a few years ago and our Institutional Advancement team, that was here at the time, recognized the potential benefit of Waynesburg University hosting their own,” said Brodak. “We launched in 2016. We have been fortunate to have experienced growth ever since.”
The Day of Giving is something that would not be possible without the support of WU alumni. She stressed that their generosity is never taken for granted.
“Our Alumni have always been so very generous and we are fortunate for their continued support,” said Brodak. “Many people include wonderfully kind notes along with their donations with fond memories of campus and how their time here was special and beneficial to them. Our Institutional Advancement team remains committed to planning this event and we continuously seek new ideas and strategies to engage new audiences.”
Institutional Advancement has implemented another incentive called the “Matching Grant Challenge” as another way to help generate interest in donating and new people to give gifts.
“This year, we were able to announce our first matching grant challenge. The Stover Foundation generously offered a 3:1 matching grant challenge for needed Communication equipment. That certainly could be an excellent strategy moving forward,” said Brodak. “We also asked for our Departments to consider being specific about how they would use the money. People like to give to specific things and feel good about reaching a shared goal. And of course, we are also very fortunate that our President participates in our kick-off video which is fun!”