Giving Back on Giving Tuesday

Join in as Tufts aims for 5,000 donors—with an incentive of a half million dollars in challenge gifts—this November 28

photo of the campus green with statue of Jumbo the elephant

This year on Giving Tuesday, Tufts is issuing a new challenge—5,000 donors in 24 hours.

This is the fifth consecutive year that Tufts has participated in the annual global day of philanthropy, which takes place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. The 92nd Street Y in New York City and the United Nations Foundation launched the tradition in 2012 in response to the consumerism of the holiday shopping season. All donations made to Tufts on November 28 count toward the Giving Tuesday challenge.

For the fourth year in a row, more than twenty Tufts alumni, parents, and friends have come forward to challenge the Tufts community. This year, 5,000 gifts to any part of the university on Giving Tuesday will result in university-wide challenge gifts totaling $500,000. “I loved Tufts and had a phenomenal time there, and personally I think Tufts is just getting stronger and stronger every year,” said Stacey Morse, E77, a challenge donor and member of the Tufts School of Engineering Board of Advisors who has consistently given to the school since graduating. “It makes me feel good to stay connected and give back to an institution where every dollar counts, and where you’re actually making a difference.”

Each year Tufts has set a higher goal, and each year it is not just met, but exceeded. In 2016, a record-breaking 4,000 alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, and friends of the university raised $1.2 million on Giving Tuesday—double the university’s goal of 2,000 donors.

This year, in addition to the university-wide campaign, each school and many individual groups are upping the ante with new challenges. Lis Tarlow, F84, F97, chair of the Fletcher School Board of Advisors, is pledging to donate $50,000 if at least 250 Fletcher donors give on Nov. 28, while the entire Cummings School Board of Advisors is offering a $75,000 challenge gift if they hit 350 donors. In addition to some fun athletic team-based competitions, an engaged alumnus is challenging the athletics community to secure 1,852 donors in support of any team or athletics program, unlocking a $25,000 challenge gift—1852 being the year Tufts was founded.

“Tufts is an institution that is doing the right things in how it’s educating and guiding students,” said Moises Cohen, A11, a volunteer for Tisch College’s campaign. “It is encouraging people to find their authentic selves and unite their passions with their skills in their career—and to find real ways to give back and make a difference in the world. I want more students to have that experience and go through a school that provides those things.”

Past years have shown that the success of Giving Tuesday hinges on social media marketing and word-of-mouth promotion by as many people as possible. The more people who spread the word to their networks by forwarding emails, posting their own reasons for supporting Tufts, and tagging posts with #TuftsGivingTuesday, the more successful the campaign will be.

To support that, Tufts is working with hundreds of volunteers in advance of November 28 and will send out email blasts and social media posts on that Tuesday. Tufts is also inviting those interested to visit its #GivingTuesday website to learn more about to get involved. On Giving Tuesday itself, the site will have a constantly updated donor count and donor wall.

“It’s so important that we connect with Tufts alumni, parents and friends living all over the world,” said Ankur Sahu, E91, a member of the university’s Board of Trustees and a challenge donor. “Using my gift to inspire other internationally-based people, in particular, to give back was really appealing to me.”  The focus is on galvanizing the community to support the university. “Every gift, no matter the amount, is Jumbo,” said Morse. “Every time you give, you contribute toward making this great institution a little bit better, and you automatically feel a little ownership,” she said. “It’s the participation, not the amount—that’s really what’s important here.”

Tufts is grateful to the following challenge donors:

Board of Trustees

Cummings School Board of Advisors

Kanchan and Om Ganda, J00P, M04P

Mark Gonthier

Monte Haymon, E59, J83P, and Jane Haymon, J60, J83P

Jon Levy, E83

Anthony Mann, E84

Stacey Coleman Morse, E77

Mark Pollak, A75, A16P, A19P, and Janet Meyers, A16P, A19P

Ken Rosh, A85, A19P, A21P, and Merideth Schlesinger, A19P, A21P

Rumsey Family

Ankur Sahu, E91

Lori Samuels, J81, A21P, and Ted Samuels, A21P

Suzanne Seiden, J85, A17P & Kevin Thurm, A83, A17P

Lis Tarlow, F84, F97

Mariann Youniss, J83, and Andy Youniss

Anonymous (3)

Monica Jimenez can be reached at

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