Giving Day 2018 Showed How Small Can Be Big

Thursday, April 5 dawned cold and quiet. After weeks of anticipation, Giving Day 2018, a 24-hour race to raise as much as possible for Mason’s most deserving programs, was underway. As the sun came out, Mason Nation warmed up and then started to rock. By midnight, hundreds of small donations had added up to big results, with an exceptional tally of 1,712 donors contributing $328,000 to their favorite causes and funds, representing every school and unit at Mason.

Throughout the day, Mason spirit abounded on campus, online, and at special events. At the Giving Day tent on Wilkins Plaza, hundreds of students stopped by to write thank-you postcards to donors and grab free coffee and Mason swag. Everyone from students to deans to President Cabrera and the Patriot cut video messages for social media.

In downtown D.C., Mason Nation turned out in big numbers at Raise the Roof, the Giving Day happy hour and watch party. Nearly 150 alumni, friends, faculty and staff filled the atrium of the Homer Building at Metro Center. Thanks go to lead sponsor BB&T Bank for providing the venue space.

A new feature this year was a series of fundraising challenges, in which donors pledged to match gifts made by others to their favorite program. The challenges motivated friendly competition as well as a lot of additional giving.

When Giving Day wrapped, the Business School challenge had led the way with an amazing $71,184 raised. Other standout causes receiving great support included:
• $36,051 for scholarships at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
• $14,602 for the basketball facility renovation.
• $13,175 for the University Libraries.
• $3,275 for the Student Food and Housing Insecurity Fund.
• $19,288 contributed by 130 donors to help purchase a 16-foot box truck so that the Green Machine ensembles can keep on truckin’.
• $17,647 for the Alumni Association scholarship endowment, which has now surpassed its goal of $68,000 in honor of the class of 1968.

An impressive 34 different states were represented on the donor list, more proof that Mason Nation keeps growing. Not surprisingly, Virginia led the way with 696 donors. These tallies and the grand total will increase as gifts that were snail-mailed in are received over the next several days.

In all, Mason’s second annual giving Day was a huge success—and a new green and gold tradition is now firmly established.

April 9, 2018 / RR