The results are in: Blugolds are more generous than ever

| Emily Wermund

On Tuesday, Nov. 27, the UW-Eau Claire Foundation joined thousands of other nonprofits around the globe to celebrate Giving Tuesday, an international day of giving. Little did they know just how much giving would actually occur from alumni, donors and friends of UW-Eau Claire.

Giving Tuesday encourages the UW-Eau Claire community to donate in support of university students and programs, all while showcasing Blugold pride. This year's Giving Tuesday date also happened to coincide with the university's annual hat and scarf giveaway on the campus mall. These collective philanthropic efforts result in a ripple effect of giving across campus that ultimately benefits the students and programs of UW-Eau Claire.

Although this is the fifth year the UW-Eau Claire Foundation has participated in Giving Tuesday, 2018 marked the most successful campaign to date. After the 24-hour-long online challenge, the results are in and tabulated. The total raised on Giving Tuesday, including the Giving Day platform, Telefund, online gifts and direct mail donations, was $96,185, coming from 417 gifts. Compared with $12,604 from 86 gifts in 2017, this year's success is beyond impressive.

"We really did not know what to expect going into Giving Tuesday this year," says Tori Follett, director of annual giving and young alumni engagement in the UW-Eau Claire Foundation. "We've participated in years past but not at the level we aimed for this year. Needless to say, we are overwhelmed by the generosity of our alumni and friends."

With matching gift incentives for various donor populations and campus programs, awareness and philanthropy education were instrumental in this year's Giving Tuesday success. Ninety-one gifts came from millennials (under age 37), and 65 gifts came from first-time donors to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.

"The opportunities that will be available for students as a result of donor support on Giving Tuesday are invaluable," Follett says.

Chancellor Jim even stepped up to the challenge, offering $1,000 to a fund of the student body’s choosing. After surveying the campus for input, the chancellor chose to direct his donation to the Blugold Emergency Support Fund, which provides immediate financial support for emergency financial situations like medical conditions, housing difficulty or family tragedy. The value of giving back to our campus community and "Blugolds helping Blugolds" is something Chancellor Jim and the students feel passionately about.

While it may be hard to top this year's numbers, Foundation staff members already are marking their calendars for next year's Giving Tuesday. Save the date for Dec. 3, 2019, and join the family of Blugolds who help make experiences possible for students at UW-Eau Claire.

For more information, visit givingday.uwec.edu.