Why Giving Day Matters

part of an occasional series of messages to Mason faculty and staff from the head of University Advancement and Alumni Relations

It's hard to imagine, but the George Mason University we value for being a bold upstart in Virginia's higher education system marks a pretty big anniversary in 2017: 45 years as a university independent from the University of Virginia. Next year will be an even bigger milestone, as we celebrate the Golden Anniversary of the Alumni Association and our first graduating class. At the end of 2018, our university as a whole marks the conclusion of the Faster Farther campaign.

These dates might seem arbitrary, but they point to an important shift in the way others see us and the way we see ourselves. If Mason was set on its current trajectory by community leaders with dreams of what this university could become, those dreams are now being realized beyond all expectation. Mason is now a top-rated research university powered by the daily interactions of dedicated teachers and inspired—inspiring—students. We are a home for both humanities and the hard sciences, of athletics and the arts. We have arrived, and our large alumni body is the key testament to our success.

If community leaders first saw the potential of our university and helped to realize it, our alumni are the ones who will help advance Mason faster and farther still. That's why we are proud this year to launch our first-ever Giving Day on April 6, 2017. Just as observing Giving Tuesday has become popular with many nonprofits, holding a Giving Day has become common at many universities to show school spirit and support.

We hope that Mason's own Giving Day, which will be equally fast, can go far: in the space of just 24 hours, everyone in Mason Nation will be encouraged to make their mark by making a gift to Mason. Our staff has been hard at work with colleagues across the university to identify a series of funding "projects" that donors on the day might wish to support—projects that can benefit not only our students, facilities, and programs but also you: Mason's faculty and staff. To read more about them and learn more, visit today.

Holding a Giving Day expresses our belief in the power of broad-based support, especially from alumni. It's also a reminder that each and every person who sees the promise of George Mason University, its amazing faculty and enterprising students, can be a donor.

How Faculty and Staff Can Help

Whether you give or not, a Giving Day also proves that everyone in the Mason community can be a fundraiser—especially faculty and staff. Many of you already make gifts to Mason, contributing more than a million dollars already this fiscal year. Your connections to current students, former students and other alumni, friends and neighbors, all make you supremely suited to be one of Mason's ambassadors as Giving Day draws near. Your advocacy for this effort, and for Mason, will be especially important as we begin—in a climate of reduced government support for higher education—to build a culture of giving back across our alumni base.

So please do what you can to get the word out. Learn about our funding projects at, post to social media why you support our university (using hashtag #Give2Mason), and mark your calendars for Giving Day itself: April 6, 2017. Your contribution is one we can all be proud of for taking Mason faster farther.

Thank you for supporting Mason.


Janet E. Bingham, PhD
Vice President, Advancement and Alumni Relations
President, George Mason University Foundation

P.S. Do you have a question for me or a story to share about faculty/staff giving? We'd love to hear it. Email it to

March 23, 2017