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The Boston University community includes 300,000 alumni and 29,000 parents around the globe, along with 30,000 students and 9,000 faculty and staff members. On Wednesday, April 30, the University will ask that far-flung group to come together for 24 hours—on campus and online—for the first-ever Giving Day.
The 24-hour fundraising drive will benefit the BU Annual Fund, which provides resources for the University’s schools, colleges, and athletic teams, as well as for scholarships and other initiatives. BU community members are encouraged to donate, participate in on-campus activities, and spread the word through social media. Donors can give to their choice of program or area within BU. But time is limited: Giving Day starts at 12:01 a.m. EDT on April 30, and ends at midnight EDT.
“This is an opportunity for alumni, students, parents, and friends to make a huge difference in a short period of time, uniting around a common goal,” says Dan Allenby, assistant vice president for Annual Giving. “Giving Day is all about participation; giving back to what made, or makes, your BU experience so great, supporting future students, and building community.”
To increase the impact of Giving Day, and to encourage and reward the philanthropy of other participants, BU trustee Stephen Karp (CAS’63) has issued a challenge: He will match, dollar for dollar, any gift of less than $1,000, and the first $1,000 of each larger gift.
To take advantage of the matching challenge, the Class Gift Committee is encouraging seniors to give to the Class Gift Campaign on Giving Day. “This is a great opportunity for students to take action and demonstrate why they love BU,” says Markiesha Ollison (CGS’12, SMG’14), the committee’s marketing chair. “I’m excited to interact with alumni. To students, alumni seem like distant cousins. But on a day like this, they seem more like brothers and sisters.”
Alumni, parents, and friends around the world are invited to get involved through social media. “It’s a time for alumni to reflect on the meaningful connection they have with the BU community,” says Mark DiCristofaro (CGS’06, COM’08), a film and TV producer based in Los Angeles. “For me, those connections have become clearer down the line.”
DiCristofaro plans to donate on Giving Day, in honor of those connections, and to say thank you to those whose contributions enriched his student experience. “At the College of General Studies and the College of Communication, enhanced facilities and equipment were donated by parents and alumni, and those had a direct effect on my BU experience,” he says. “And as a member of the golf team, I benefited from contributions from team alumni, which offset the cost of our travel and gear.”
Local alums can be a part of Giving Day across the Charles River Campus. At stations set up in the School of Management lobby, on Marsh Plaza, at the GSU Link, and at FitRec, student volunteers and BU staff members will answer questions, take donations, give away prizes, stage contests, and take photos and shoot videos to share online, so that alumni, parents, and others who aren’t on campus can be part of the fun for the day. And don’t forget to visit the photo booth on Marsh Plaza.
Social media activity
Participants can use the hashtag #BUGivingDay on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Vine posts to be part of the conversation—and to check out what others are saying about Giving Day. To show your support, switch your cover and profile photos to the Giving Day–branded versions available on the Giving Day website. After you donate, tell the community why, by posting your own video, photo, or testimonial using the #WhyIGivetoBU hashtag. Throughout the day, the BU Alumni Association will share #WhyIGivetoBU posts, and send out updates and bonus challenges, including opportunities to earn extra funds for individual schools and colleges.
Giving Day starts at 12:01 a.m. EDT on April 30, and ends at midnight EDT. Donate on April 30 here. Questions about Giving Day? Email email@example.com, call 800-447-2849, or visit the website. Learn more about all of the great reasons to give to BU here.
This Bostonia story was written by Alyce Nicolo (COM’07)