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Davis, California

Friday, May 24, 2024

UC Davis’ eighth annual Give Day raises over $4.1 million

This is one of the largest amounts ever raised by UC Davis


By JORDAN POLTORAK — campus@theaggie.org


Give Day is a 29-hour-long fundraising drive that took place from April 19 to April 20. Donors could give donations in person or by phone, and gifts would go toward funding programs such as the veterinary hospitals, UC Davis Health and the larger UC Davis campus. 

The event also overlapped with Picnic Day — the largest student-run event in the country. 

“Give Day is a university-wide project, so we start preparing for the event in October by meeting with colleagues from all over main campus and at UC Davis Health,” Andrea Elliot, director of marketing communications of the Annual and Special Gifts Program and Michelle Posey, managing executive director of the Annual and Special Gifts Program, said via email.

 The theme for this year’s fundraiser was “Reaching New Heights” — which was reflected in the over $4.1 million raised in comparison to the $3.4 million of 2023’s Give Day. 

“Many of our alumni donors want to encourage others to support our students, as well as support the areas of UC Davis that were personally meaningful to them while they were attending school here,” Elliot and Posey said via email. “They often provide challenge gifts for that purpose.” 

A challenge gift cannot be unlocked until others donate to reach the goal, causing a ripple effect. Donors are encouraged to give more in order to complete the challenge. This year, UC Davis received 214 challenge gifts nearly reaching $3 million, which was $500,000 more than the previous year.

Not only did Give Day coincide with Picnic Day, but it was also featured at “The Year of the Egghead” celebration.

“Our Give Day event t-shirts featured Stargazer [an egghead] this year, and it was pretty exciting that we got to be included in the acknowledgment of Professor Arneson’s work,” Elliot and Posey said via email.

Give Day featured events such as “Battle of the Colleges,” where the UC Davis colleges engaged in friendly competition to see which one could raise the most money. The College of Engineering came in first place with 484 gifts. The School of Veterinary Medicine and School of Law competed in “Battle of the Schools,” and the School of Veterinary Medicine emerged victorious with a total of 456 gifts.

The Give Day social media campaign encouraged those interested to become social ambassadors. Social ambassadors would share information related to Give Day on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. 

“Raising money that helps create opportunities for our students and faculty is personally important to those of us who fundraise for UC Davis,” Elliot and Posey said via email. “Making a lasting impact here by helping others is what it’s all about for us.”


Written by: Jordan Poltorak — campus@theaggie.org


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