UMBC recently held a 24-hour donation marathon called the UMBC Giving Day: Black and Gold Rush to engage the UMBC community and raise money for the university.
The Giving Day fundraiser managed to raise $63,377 from 842 different donors in only 24 hours on Feb. 28. Among the 842 donors, many donated multiple times as there was a combined total of 973 donations for the campaign. The event was marketed as a part of the Grit and Greatness Campaign, the $150 million initiative that launched in June 2017 as part of the 50th anniversary of UMBC.
Most people who donated did not donate anonymously; 94 percent chose to publicly reveal themselves as donors. Of the donations by people who revealed their names, only around a third (256) had the amount be publicly available on the Giving Day website. One hundred and eighty of the donations were by people who donated anonymously.
Of the 973 total donations, most were done by alumni, faculty, and staff. Forty-one percent (405) individual donations were from alumni, and 28 percent (269) were from faculty and staff. Among the rest of the donations, 17 percent were from parents, six percent from friends of UMBC, and five percent from students. Curiously, 18 of the donations, nearly two percent, were from people who did not label themselves as any of the above groups.
Giving Day allowed donors to choose specifically where their money goes which included various department and programs. Among these, the Athletics program had the most, with over $23,821.91 (over 35 percent of the total amount raised) donated by 287 individuals. In comparison, the Stay Black and Gold Emergency Fund, which provides support for students in need of financial aid to stay at UMBC, had $3,309.50 raised by 64 donors. Donors raised $3,309.00 by 44 donors for the Scholars Programs.
Giving Day also had four different community challenges that, when met, would cause additional donations from specific volunteers ranging from alumni and parents to president Freeman Hrabowski and Jenny O’Grady, the editor of UMBC magazine. The challenges involved different milestone goals for the number of donors who were alumni, faculty members, or students, parents, and friends of UMBC. All four donation challenges were met, which raised an additional total of $12,000.
During the fundraiser, 188 people signed up to be social media ambassadors for the campaign, which involved promoting the campaign online. Hrabowski himself took over the UMBC Twitter page to spread the word about Giving Day. In one post, Hrabowski stated, “You have 24 hours to make a difference. Students, parents, alumni, friends, faculty, staff…UMBC couldn’t exist without you. Your support continues to be invaluable to the mission of our university.”