Giving Tuesday Brings Together the Tufts Global Community

A record number of donors raises more than $4 million for the university 

Inspired by #TuftsGivingTuesday, the Tufts global community showed Jumbo support for the university with a record-setting 9,029 donors raising more than $4 million.

The November 28 campaign, the eleventh since the tradition began in 2012, attracted gifts from significantly more donors than last year, when 8,355 supporters made gifts.

Those who gave represented 43 countries and 49 states. Their generous Giving Tuesday response surpassed last year’s $3.9 million achievement.

"Each year, it is awe-inspiring to watch our incredible volunteers leverage their passion, network, and the power and reach of technology to bring to life what has become a true giving revolution,” said Susan Dickason, A04, president-elect of the Tufts Alumni Association, co-chair of the 20th Reunion Committee, and co-chair of Tufts Women's Network Boston.

Dickason noted that the number and variety of #TuftsGivingTuesday challenges and matches grew this year to more than 70 and reflect the “collective strength and momentum” of Tufts philanthropy.

“It brings me great joy to express my gratitude on Tufts Giving Tuesday for the top-notch education Tufts afforded me and the wonderful, inspired, and kind people that I met and remain close with, including my husband Brandon, A03,” she added. “I am honored to be among devoted classmates, alumni, staff, and the broader community who rally to ensure this life-changing experience—today and for the future. We are Jumbos!"

Among the areas of giving that exceeded their goals was Visual and Performing Arts, achieving 212% of its goal and raising more than $76,000 from 159 donors. Athletics scored big with 4,695 donors helping to raise more than $1.2 million. The Derby Entrepreneurship Center eclipsed its goal as well to achieve nearly $49,000 in donations.

Matching gift challenges also inspired giving to a wide range of causes across the university. Highlights included the Tufts University Prison Initiative of the Tisch College of Civic Life (TUPIT); that campaign raised $20,781 from 123 donors and doubled its donor count from last year. Another success was supported by alumni and parents to bolster undergraduate financial aid; their matching challenges raised more than $320,000.

Harry D. “Hersh” Cohen, AG64, AG66, and his wife, Fern, AG74, were challenge donors for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. For Cohen, the effort sprang from gratitude.

“Tufts has done so much for me and for Fern,” he said. “We are both delighted to give back and help initiate and encourage other donors to give until it feels good!"

Professional schools set their sights on challenges as well. The School of Medicine, which raised $501,153 from 514 gifts, soared through several successful challenges.

The Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy surpassed its goal of 175 donors, with 213 donors donating $147,375. The school met all of its challenges, boosting support for financial aid, the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, and nutrition research.

Tufts tracked activity across social media platforms and posted updates on Facebook, Instagram, and X.

Among alumni rallying others to join in the day of giving was Ancy Verdier, A96, D03, DG06, whose enthusiasm was directed at fellow graduates of the School of Dental Medicine, but could resonate with all Tufts alumni.

A photo of his young daughters smiling brightly in Tufts sweatshirts complemented his heartfelt urging to pay it forward: “Let's build futures together! Consider making a difference by donating to Tufts—every gift, big or small, contributes to shaping the path of tomorrow's leaders. Join the journey of impact and empowerment.” 

Chronicling overall progress was the giving site, which kept pace with the steady uptick in gift dollars and celebrated milestones. Incentives for giving by class affiliation were also noted on a reunion leaderboard. The frontrunner for achieving donor goals was the Class of 2019 with 116 donors, followed by the Class of 1994 with 85.  

This year’s giving day also included a leaderboard for a new giving society, BOLD: 'Bos of the Last Decade, and reflected how young alumni are stepping up to philanthropy. The Class of 2019 came out on top with the most donors there too, with 2023 in second place with 110.

A central theme of this year’s campaign was how gifts of all sizes make an impact on the life of the university. “Every gift is Jumbo” was the repeated refrain, and a section of the giving site, “Let’s Get Social,” featured photos and videos linked to teams, clubs, and organizations.

That approach offered a panoramic view of how life at the university depends on and benefits from donor support for programs ranging from the Center for STEM Diversity, the Center for Black Maternal Health and Reproductive Justice, and the Tufts Community Grants program, to Tufts athletes, including the ski team, sailing, golf, and volleyball.

To further underscore impact, this year’s video focused on the importance of support for the Tufts student experience and featured original poetry and narration by Ayomide Oloyede, A25.

Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 to celebrate the vital role of nonprofits, following Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.


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