Give Day breaks new records amid campus closure, stay-at-home order

Give Day breaks new records amid campus closure, stay-at-home order

Photo Credits: UC Davis. A banner on the UC Davis website detailing the gifts raised during Give Day 2020.

UC Davis receives $2.5 million in gifts, donations 

Despite the move to remote instruction, the campus being placed on suspended operations and a statewide stay-at-home order, UC Davis broke records with its most successful Give Day to date. On April 17 and 18, UC Davis raised $2,524,539 and received 3,374 gifts from donors. 

Give Day and Picnic Day usually coincide in a weekend of events and activities to highlight the accomplishments of UC Davis’ schools, centers and departments: with Give Day’s goal to raise money from donors who could be alumni, philanthropists or even current students. This year, following the cancellation of Picnic Day, Give Day moved to an entirely online platform. 

To help incentivize potential donors and help stretch the value of each individual donation, Give Day featured 150 challenge gifts.

“Challenge gifts make contributions of any size go further by ‘unlocking’ larger amounts put forth by community donors,” according to the Give Day webpage

Dana Allen, the assistant vice chancellor of Alumni and Affiliate Relations and executive director of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association at UC Davis, worked with a network of parents, alumni, students, retirees and emeriti to help set challenges and raise Give Day funds.

“I worked to help our team within Alumni and Affiliate relations promote challenges as well as individual giving,” Allen said.

To help encourage donations, the Alumni Association of Directors set its own challenge and helped raise an additional $2,500.

For many challenges, a greater number of individual donations helped unlock matched funds set by different challenges and donors.

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, donors had the opportunity this year to give to several emergency funds to provide assistance to students in need as well as medical professionals. The Pantry, the Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center and the Student Emergency Relief Aid Fund are a few of the resources helping provide students with accessible food, housing and basic needs during the epidemic. Units like The Pantry rely on donations to fund more than 90% of their operations, according to their Give Day webpage

Ryan Choi, the unit director of The Pantry, commented on the amount of gifts received on Give Day.

“This year, the Pantry and Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center shared a joint Give Day Challenge: The 2020 Murphy Basic Needs Endowment Challenge,” Choi said. “The Murphys pledged $10,000 for every 20 gifts donated during the give day campaign.”

With the help of donation matching and challenges, The Pantry gained $30,000 from 72 donors and the Murphy Challenge. 

Written by: Ally Russell — campus@theaggie.org