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What can members of the BU community achieve in one day? For one thing, they can break records. On April 11, 2018, more than 10,000 alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents, and friends raised $3,014,694 during the University’s fifth annual Giving Day, a 24-hour fundraising drive that supports the BU Annual Fund. This year’s event marked a record-breaking day for BU, with a 30 percent increase in donations over 2017.
Funds raised support many areas across the Charles River and Medical Campuses: all 17 schools and colleges, life-changing research, varsity and club sports, and student life.
“The record-setting success of Giving Day shows how increasingly invested our community is in the future of Boston University,” says Steve Hall, vice president for alumni relations. “We are incredibly grateful to the thousands of alumni, friends, parents, faculty, staff, and students who choose to give back to BU, on Giving Day and throughout the year.”
Dozens of special challenges, sponsored by generous alumni and parents, drove the excitement of the day, with each gift earning bonus funds for BU schools, teams, or programs.
College of Arts & Sciences departments with the most donors (and those with most improvement over 2017) each earned a share of $40,000, with the top prizes going to Core Curriculum and the classics department. On-campus programs, such as BU Hillel and the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, maxed out dollar-for-dollar matches by challenge donors. Club sports teams exceeded their previous record, raising $122,540—including thousands in bonus funds. And the student clubs and organizations with the most donors earned a share of $2,500, with the prize money supplied by a group of young alumni. The BU Treblemakers took home the top prize of $1,000, the BU Inner Strength Gospel Choir earned second prize ($750), and the Catholic Student Association took the third prize ($500).
“Giving Day gives students the chance to support the clubs, programs, teams, and schools that matter to them, and to extend their impact through challenges,” says Nebe Betre (COM’18), cochair of the 2018 Class Gift campaign. More than 1,000 students participated in Giving Day this year.
BU student-athletes—already a competitive bunch—took on their three-part challenge for Giving Day, with teams vying for the most donors, most money raised, and most improvement over 2017. Every team raised critical funds to support their programs, with bonus funds taking that impact even further. The day saw a particularly impressive show of support from the student-athletes, who achieved 100 percent participation. Overall, BU varsity athletics broke the $1 million mark for the second year in a row—closing the day with nearly $1.3 million in gifts.
Faculty participated as well, hosting live-streams on the BU alumni Facebook channel about topics of interest to alums around the world. In addition, #BUGivingDay trended on Twitter locally, and many donors used #IGiveToBU to share stories about why they give back. And alumni in 45 countries gave on Giving Day, reflecting the global reach of the BU network.