Giving Day returns as a part of Homecoming events


File Photo/The Lion's Roar

Giving Day will be held on Oct. 21. After raising nearly $100,000 last year for various departments, the university anticipates another successful Giving Day after gaining 250% more traction on their platform.

After record participation last fall, the university plans to include its annual Giving Day as part of their Homecoming Week lineup.

Giving Day will be held on Oct. 21, and it will be a 24-hour fundraising campaign in which multiple departments and organizations will be able to appeal for funds. The university made the decision to hold the event during Homecoming Week last year in order to increase participation.

Last year, the university raised nearly $100,000 for various departments and organizations with nearly 800 donors. A new online platform was also utilized. 

Vanessa Prentice, director of development for the office of university advancement, described how the change in time was successful in drawing more attention to the event.

“Last year was the first year that we utilized this new, multifaceted platform,” said Prentice. “Our goal last year was to reach more and newer people. We were very successful in that. We engaged about 250 percent more people, which is a substantial amount of people. We engaged almost 800 people versus the typical year of around 130 people. So, we were very successful.”

Prentice also shared some of the departments and organizations that will be participating in this year’s Giving Day.

“We have more athletics this year, pretty much all athletics and athletic clubs are participating,” noted Prentice. “We have projects from every college. We also have organizations such as the Food Pantry, KSLU, Turtle Cove, collegiate recovery that are participating.”

While there won’t be any major changes to the event as compared to last year, Prentice shared that the cancellation of most major Homecoming events presents new challenges.

“It’s the same but the problem is we are going to be doing a virtual homecoming, so there will not be as many in-person activities to go along with it,” explained Prentice. “Last year, we participated in Gumbo Ya-Ya and we were incentivized people to share on social media by giving them a t-shirt. Because Giving Day is more of a social media event, the fact that most Homecoming events will be virtual shouldn’t hinder it.”

Current limitations on student activities has also presented challenges for event coordinators.

“The challenges are that people and student organizations are not coming together as usual, therefore they cannot meet and discuss their needs,” shared Prentice. “They also cannot take any trips, which a lot of the projects last year were to raise money for things like travel abroad. The other difficulty is that faculty and staff are stretched very thin in this new normal and can’t be involved as they were last year.”

Despite these challenges, Prentice explained that the implementation of a new online platform for Giving Day last year has helped coordinators.

“The benefit is this is our second year using this wonderful platform that allows people to push their projects themselves,” said Prentice.

Prentice hopes to continue to reach more people and re-engage those who participated last year.

To donate to any of the Giving Day incentives, visit