450 gifts in 24 hours? No problem!

Created: March 1, 2017  |  Last Updated: September 1, 2020  |  Category: ,   |  Tagged: ,

Washington & Jefferson College celebrated one of its newest traditions on Presidents’ Day, Feb. 20, 2017 as members of the W&J community contributed to the College’s third annual Day of Giving – a campus-wide initiative to raise gifts for the W&J Fund in a 24-hour period.

The day, dubbed #RedBlackGiveBack, focused its efforts on reaching a 450 donor-participation goal, and utilized social media and a dynamic online gift counter to generate buzz and create solidarity throughout the day-long event.

In addition to the virtual celebration that took place on W&J Day of Giving, members of the Alumni Executive Council (AEC) hosted a special happy hour at The Foundry in Pittsburgh’s North Shore to encourage young-alumni giving.

“One of the biggest benefits of W&J is its size and the ability to make true connections and build a network. Kicking off events like the #RedBlackGiveBack Happy Hour highlights the importance of keeping traditions alive after graduation,” said Mike Harding ’12, member of the Young Alumni Adhoc Committee of the AEC. “Young alumni in the region want to remain connected, and it was awesome to see how many came to the happy hour in support of our alma mater, to meet one another, and to just catch up and have a drink. We’re already looking forward to the next event!”

By 7:30 p.m., the donor goal was met, but the outpouring of support continued throughout the evening. By midnight, the #RedBlackGiveBack buzz had resulted in gifts from an impressive 535 donors.

Exceeding the goal of 450 donors in 24 hours wasn’t the only big news announced during this year’s event. Thanks to the generosity of a loyal alumnus, numerous challenges were issued throughout the course of the day to reinforce that gifts of all sizes truly make a difference. In total, $50,000 in challenge funds were unlocked, bringing the day’s grand total to $196,572.

The overwhelming success of #RedBlackGiveBack reflected the combined efforts of many constituencies working together in a common purpose — including members of the current student body who stopped by to make their gifts at special giving stations in Rossin Campus Center.

One such student, Darious Singleton ’18, shared his motivations for giving: “W&J is giving me the chance to make a real change in the world,” he said. “There is no monetary value that I can put on the debt of gratitude I owe this institution, but giving [on W&J Day of Giving] is a start!”

From faculty and staff to students and alumni, excitement and appreciation could be felt all over campus. “

We are so thankful to everyone who helped make W&J Day of Giving a success. Exceeding our goal by over 80 donors was a great affirmation of the support the W&J community has for the College,” said Mike Grzesiak, vice president of development and alumni relations. “W&J Day of Giving provides a fun way to give and connect with other Presidents, and I look forward to continuing this new tradition for many years to come.”

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