Giving Tuesday Inspires Jumbo Support for Tufts

More than 8,300 donors stepped up for Tufts to collectively raise $3.9 million in one day


Tufts marked the 10th anniversary of Tufts Giving Tuesday on November 29 with a level of support that speaks to the strength of the university’s global community. More than 8,300 donors participated, helping to raise $3.9 million.

The day of giving is an important engine for philanthropy that benefits students and faculty across the university. Over the past decade, Tufts Giving Tuesday has inspired more than 58,000 gifts that total more than $20 million.

"Tufts Giving Tuesday continues to be a powerful catalyst for support across the Tufts community,” said President Anthony P. Monaco. “Thank you to everyone who once again made this celebration of generosity and community one of the most inspiring events of the year. Our work at the university is sustained and strengthened by your commitment.” 

All Tufts schools raised significant funds to help students, faculty, and staff excel. Sai Krupa Das, NG02, appreciates that impact as a senior scientist at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA), a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and an enthusiastic co-chair of the Brighter World annual fund committees for the Friedman School and HNRCA. Once again, she said, she was awed by the outpouring of support that will go a long way to meet critical needs.

“The commitment we’ve received from our donors is truly remarkable,” she said. “With their support, the Friedman School and HNRCA raised needed funds during Tufts Giving Tuesday. This means that we’ll be able to continue our mission of top-notch foundational training and education at the Friedman School and research and scholarship at the HNRCA. I am incredibly grateful to our donors for their generosity and for investing in our students, faculty, and researchers for yet another year.”

Tufts Giving Tuesday momentum was fueled by a well-versed and global network of Tufts volunteers using email and social media to encourage students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends to make a gift. Gifts of all sizes, and directed to any cause on campus, poured in throughout the day, with Tufts tracking progress online.

This year, more than 80 matching gift challenges offered the added incentive of making donations go farther. The largest challenge—a $200,000 dollar-for-dollar match for undergraduate financial aid—was completed by early evening, raising more than $400,000 for that university priority.

One of the strongest areas of support was Tufts Athletics, where students, alumni, parents, and friends could be counted on for Jumbo-sized enthusiasm. Among the alumni who sought to capitalize on that Jumbo spirit and help lead the way this year was Chris Valente, A05, a former Tufts swimmer, and the co-founder and current chair of Friends of Tufts Swimming & Diving. He joined others in creating a $51,000 matching gift challenge for the Swimming & Diving program; it was fully achieved. 

“Tufts Giving Tuesday is an incredibly important day for our program,” Valente said. “The energy, excitement, and momentum of #GivingTuesday translates into a real impact on the pool deck.

“The consistent, annual support by our alumni, parents, and friends ensures that Tufts will remain one of the top swimming and diving programs in the NESCAC and nationally and helps our student-athletes perform at their best in and out of the pool. I’m incredibly proud of what Tufts Athletics, the Tufts Swimming & Diving program, and the Friends of Tufts Swimming & Diving have been able to accomplish and was excited to lend a hand by participating in and encouraging others to give toward this year’s challenge match.”

Ellise LaMotte, associate dean of Diversity, Inclusion and Success, who leads the Division of Student Diversity and Inclusion for the Schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering, shared her “sincere appreciation” as more than 300 donors helped meet a challenge for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) initiatives.

“I am always so grateful and humbled by the generosity of donors to the Division of Student Diversity and Inclusion and to our eight Identity Centers,” she said. “Time and time again our donors support us financially and work to find other ways to support our students.  All these efforts truly make my heart sing. We want our donors to know that we will continue doing all we can do to support our student populations so they can thrive on their academic and personal journeys. Thank you!”  

Tianyi Luo, EG12, was one of 100 donors from China who responded to the International Community Challenge set up by Nandish Kilachand, A95, and another Tufts family, both in India. 

Luo, now an entrepreneur at a mission-driven water and climate consulting firm, Bluerisk, chose to support fellowships and financial aid for graduate students at the School of Engineering.

“It would be an understatement to say that Tufts changed my life,” he said. “In the past 12 years, I have seen the world and people by traveling to and working in over 30 countries on pretty much every continent. And all of that started from the scholarships I received from Tufts as well as all the mentorship, support, and friendship I got in Anderson Hall, and on Pearl Street, to which I owe a debt of gratitude. I hope my donation will help Tufts give its students the means and resources they need when they need them and help bring even just a little bit of certainty to their future.”

Students are also champions of Tufts Giving Tuesday, and now account for about 11 percent of all gifts. Christof Inderbitzin, A23, was among the undergraduates who devoted at least part of their Tuesday to staffing the Tufts Student Giving table at the Mayer Campus Center.

“Giving Tuesday gives me a lot of joy,” said Inderbitzin, pausing from offering energized and warm greetings to students pouring into the center during the lunch hour. “This is the third year I’ve been involved, and it seems with each year more and more students come to the table. It’s exciting.”

Mark Lannigan, A23, was among the many undergraduates who didn’t hesitate to make a donation, inspired by the same selfless motives that seem to define the spirit of Tufts Giving Tuesday.

“I give every year through Giving Tuesday because financial aid support has helped me a lot,” said Lannigan, a first-generation college student. “I want others to have the opportunity to come to Tufts like I have. It’s given me a lot, so I want to give back.”

If you missed the action, see all the results online.

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