Kent State gives back on Giving Tuesday

Patricia Battle

Kent State receieved more than $1,030,000 worth of donations on Giving Tuesday, a national event where people are encouraged to give back to their community. Kent State president Beverly Warren called the amount raised the university’s most successful Giving Tuesday. This is the second straight year the university has raised more than a million dollars.

In a press release, Stephen G. Sokany, the vice president for institutional advancement, focused on how the Kent State community came together.

“Seeing our Golden Flash family come together in such an exceptional way to support the university during Giving Tuesday is a humbling and exciting experience,” Sokany said. “The generosity of thousands of individuals will make a sustaining impact across our eight-campus system. We are deeply grateful that our Kent State supporters again helped us raise more than $1 million to further the university’s mission to provide the most impactful educational experience possible for all of our students.”

In the same press release, Danielle Hupp, senior associate director of special giving initiatives, said gifts and support came from all over the globe.

“During this year’s Giving Tuesday, we saw gifts come in from all around the world to support our talented and deserving students and programs,” Hupp said. “Now in our fifth year, Giving Tuesday has become a tradition amongst our Golden Flash community. People came forward this year to offer matching gifts, start their own crowdfunding pages and rally support for the university. The whole Kent State community got behind us to prove that Golden Flashes give back – it’s who we are and what we do.”

In total, President Warren and other donors matched $149,949, while the Kent State Foundation match and participation boosts totaled $150,000. In total, $730,051 gifts were received. The  baseball team received $36,000, while track and field received the largest number of donors throughout the month with 170 supporters.

Individual donors provided various matching incentives, while the Kent State University Foundation provided $150,000 for participation boosts leading up to Giving Tuesday and then for one-to-one matching on Nov. 27. A total of nearly $300,000 was available in matching funds this year.

The day of activism falls after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, which are days for deals on gifts for the holidays.

“So essentially, the big thing behind Giving Tuesday is you save so much money, people start getting together and using some of that money they saved to give to other nonprofits, charities and different areas,” said Adam Cooke, a junior chemistry major and president of the student philanthropy organization, Flashanthropy.

“Our biggest thing is that we try to go around and spread awareness about how to be philanthropic and what philanthropy is,” Cooke said. “Philanthropy is essentially just a love of giving. It’s more than just donating money; philanthropy is also you can give time, canned goods that you may have left over, just giving back to society to people who need it.”

Giving Tuesday is an opportunity for Flashanthropy to spread awareness about its goals.

“The month of November is always a big month for us,” Cooke said. “Our biggest goal is to understand its importance, especially when it relates to the campus itself because a lot of things on this campus are made possible through gifts that we get from past alumni, current students, parents, people associated with the campus.”

Flashanthropy had an original goal of $5,000, which the group ended up breaking.

Cooke believes that Giving Tuesday gives people the opportunity to embark on a path of philanthropy.

“It’s important because it’s a great starting round. I know a lot of people want to get involved, but sometimes they don’t know how. Giving Tuesday is a great place to start because it’s a day all about giving,” Cooke said.

Patricia Battle is the military and veterans and adult services reporter. Contact her at [email protected].