Giving Tuesday campaign raises $3.6 million for Kent State

Anthony Zacharyasz, Staff Reporter

Kent State University’s Giving Tuesday campaign concluded its eighth year of the month-long celebration highlighting philanthropy work with a total amount of $3.6 million raised.

Generally Giving Tuesday occurs on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, but Kent State adds its personal touch to it, by holding the campaign during the whole month of November. Each Tuesday throughout November, the university announced a new incentive like the Triple Your Gift Tuesday, which was the first incentive of the month.

Throughout November, the campaign was able to continue its success after a record-breaking $7.71 million raised last year.

Leigh Greenfelder, associate vice president of communications and outreach, and Danielle Hupp, senior associate director of communications and annual giving, from the department of philanthropy and alumni engagement were a part of the campaign this year.

Hupp was the founding member of the Giving Tuesday campaign at Kent State eight years ago. The idea of the campaign came after a YMCA in New York City started a similar event about 10 years ago and when a global movement of Giving Tuesday sparked, Kent State got on board with the idea, Hupp said.

“Every year we learn something new and try something new and really have grown it from [the first year] into the campaign we see today,” Hupp said.

The first year of Giving Tuesday made $40,000 and has generated into millions of dollars today, Hupp said.

The growth of the campaign has come with an addition to an increase of staff and faculty members that participate, along with an increase of videos and posts sent out to existing and potential donors, Greenfelder said.

“Giving Tuesday has become Kent State’s most generous annual tradition,” Hupp said. “It’s a time that kicks off the giving season and it’s a time for people to come together and give back to the causes where the funds that [donors] are passionate about.”

Greenfelder said a total of 53 clubs and organizations across the Kent State campuses benefited from the millions of dollars raised this year, like the recently launched Global Education Endowment program that raised $30,000, Stark Campus Emergency Relief Fund that raised $27,000 and the Honors College Research Experience that raised $21,000.

Donors were able to donate to the club or organization of their choice. Some of the biggest donors included Kent State’s Board of Trustees and Alumni Board Hupp said.

Anyone interested can still make a donation online, as donations can still trickle in before the end of the year, Hupp said. Throughout the end of the year, anyone can view which clubs and organizations benefited from the Giving Tuesday campaign.

“People are giving to us, not because they want to get something in return,” Greenfelder said, “but because they want to help our students and help the university.”

Anthony Zacharyasz is a staff reporter. Contact him at [email protected].