Giving Tuesday—the Tufts Edition
Two thousand donors in 24 hours—that’s the Tufts Giving Tuesday challenge this year.
Giving Tuesday, the annual global day of philanthropy, takes place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y in New York City and the United Nations Foundation in response to the consumerism of the holiday shopping season.
The Giving Tuesday takeaway for Tufts is that every gift, no matter the amount, is Jumbo. All donations made on Nov. 29 will count toward the challenge and can be directed to support any area of need at the university.
The focus is on galvanizing the community to support the university. This year, as in the last two years, several alumni and parents have come forward to make a challenge. If 2,000 donors contribute, they collectively will pitch in an additional $200,000.
“We understand that deepening and broadening what Tufts is and can be requires resources, so we are delighted to support Giving Tuesday,” says Lori Samuels, J81, who along with her husband, Ted, is one of the challenge donors.
This is the fourth consecutive year that Tufts has participated in Giving Tuesday. In 2015, more than 1,700 alumni, parents, students and friends of the university raised $400,000, including the challenge gifts. The funds supported scholarships, facilities and other high-priority areas.
“With the overwhelming success of last year’s Giving Tuesday, I am looking forward to being a challenge donor again this year,” says Jon Levy, E83. “Dozens of additional students received scholarships” as a result of last year’s effort, he said.
While Giving Tuesday is a university-wide campaign, some volunteer groups at individual schools are upping the ante with school-specific challenges. For example, the executive council of the Friedman School Alumni Association has pledged to contribute $10,000 if 75 donors give to the nutrition school.
“We hope to inspire our peers and colleagues to join us in supporting the institution, the faculty and the experiences that helped us launch our careers,” says Andrew Shao, N96, N00, president of the Friedman School Alumni Association.
The success of Giving Tuesday hinges on social media marketing and word-of-mouth promotion. The university is working with hundreds of volunteers in advance of Nov. 29 and will send out email blasts and social media posts on that Tuesday.
Past years have shown that the more individuals who spread the word to their networks of friends by forwarding emails and posting their own reasons for supporting Tufts, the more successful the outcome. Like last year, an interactive donor roll will thank donors in real time for their contributions.
“This is a major initiative for the alumni council,” says Tufts University Alumni Association President David Meyers, A96. “We want to ensure that current and future students have the same opportunities we had, and hopefully have even more. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t hit the 2,000-donor goal if everybody plays a part by giving and encouraging their networks to give something, no matter the amount.”