Giving Tuesday Results in Gift of Education

See some of the social media posts featuring UCR students by searching #GivingTueUCR

#GivingTueUCR was the social media hashtag that invited people to give to the campus on Nov. 29. Photo by Pearl Yon

It’s not just about shopping for the holidays. Sure, there’s black Friday and cyber Monday, marking days devoted to shopping. But then came Giving Tuesday, Nov. 29, the annual day to celebrate generosity and give back to worthwhile causes.

“Our first Giving Tuesday was just amazing,” said Kirsten Jasna, UC Riverside’s senior director of Annual Giving. “While results are still being tallied, I can say for certain that we brought in more gifts in a single day than we ever have in the past.”

She said there were 177 gifts received Nov. 29, and the average gift size was $168. Some of the campaign’s success was due to an emphasis on social media posts, which resulted in 5,840 “likes.”

Since it is a global day of giving, UC Riverside is competing with thousands of nonprofits.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” said Jasna. “For our first foray into this arena, we are pleased with the results.”  She said part of the emphasis on social media was to make sure donors know how much they mean to UCR students. “We are building a culture of philanthropy,” she said.

See some of the posts featuring UCR students by searching #GivingTueUCR.

“I am really grateful, and I will say that for my friends as well,” said UC Riverside student Ryan Funai. “We’re all grateful for the support we get from people who don’t even know us.  UCR alumni and donors are people who believe we have the power and we have the potential to do great things outside of college. Even our own families or friends might not expect us to do that much, so to think that complete strangers believe we have potential to be what we dream of being, that’s really amazing.”

That support allows UCR to shape the lives of future generations of leaders and provide a robust teaching and learning experience. There has never been a time in UCR’s history when an investment had such profound potential to impact the future of California.

Funai, who helps fund his education with a scholarship, said coming to UCR surprised him. “Before I came to college, I considered education as book smarts—knowing math, English, science, creative writing, philosophy—but what I’m getting more out of UCR is outside-the-classroom experiences that I wasn’t expecting to get: life lessons and social skills.”

He said it is not just about grades. “I’m learning a lot more than I thought I was going to learn.”

UC Riverside School of Public Policy student Eileen Tovar said one day she wants to work for the Environmental Protection Agency to help develop new policies that will protect the environment. “I want to leave a better world for our kids and grandkids,” she said



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