Cleveland State University’s third annual Giving Day was a resounding success, with 584 donors inspired to contribute $55,615 on Feb. 24 (compared to 380 donors last year who contributed $36,500).
“We are so pleased by the outpouring of support from alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends of Cleveland State University,” said Berinthia R. LeVine, vice president, university advancement and executive director, CSU Foundation. “Their strong commitment to our students was demonstrated through their participation.”
Conducted largely digitally, Giving Day featured hourly challenges – from midnight Feb. 24 through midnight Feb. 25 – posted on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and the web. A series of e-blasts sent out over the course of the day advertised prizes, such as discount coupons donated by nearby Rascal House Pizza, a long-time CSU staple. The e-blasts also featured more than a dozen CSU-produced videos of alumni, faculty and students encouraging viewers to donate.
“Giving Day is like the online equivalent of the old-fashioned TV telethon: 24 hours of enthusiastic challenges, pledges, healthy rivalries among the University’s colleges, and wonderful new support for CSU,” said Julia Ross, director of annual giving and campaign operations.
Donors were able to direct their gifts to specific colleges within the University, to athletics, or even to particular programs. Throughout the day and night, alumni used social media to encourage their peers to donate, with former CSU swimmers, divers and wrestlers making a particularly strong effort.
In recent years, colleges and universities across the country have instituted giving days designed to promote annual giving, especially by digitally focused recent graduates.