Second annual Giving Day tops $1 million goal

Media Credit: Danielle Towers | Assistant Photo Editor

Students who made a $5 donation at the Giving Day event in Kogan Plaza could receive food, flowers or GW-themed merchandise.

GW surpassed its $1 million dollar fundraising goal for its second annual Giving Day initiative, gathering more than $1.6 million from nearly 2,500 donors in a 24-hour period.

Officials set a $1 million goal for the Giving Day campaign – much of which will be allocated to a “focused initiative” that will target increasing aid to Pell Grant-eligible students. Last year, officials also set a fundraising goal of $1 million but fell short of the goal by less than $200,000.

Alumnus and trustee Avram Tucker promised to match Giving Day donations up to $250,000 and add an additional gift of $100,000 if officials hit the initial benchmark, which was surpassed 1 p.m.

Officials said the funds from the “Tucker Challenge” will go toward the focused initiative, dubbed “Open Doors.”

Beyond the buzz online, this year’s Giving Day featured an event in Kogan Plaza, where students who made a donation of $5 or more could receive GW-themed merchandise, food and flowers.

Donors could give to specific schools, programs, scholarships, departments, campus organizations and other University initiatives.  Schools like the Elliott School of International Affairs – which exceeded its fundraising goal by about 90 percent – saw a large increase in funding from the campaign, but others like the College of Professional Studies fell short of its goal by roughly 70 percent.

GW received donations from 46 states, with donors from at least 16 other countries. Roughly 46 percent of donations came from alumni, with another 18 percent coming from faculty and staff.

At least 10 GW vice presidents, deans and other senior administrators contributed to the project, including interim University President Mark Wrighton and Provost Chris Bracey.

Vice Provost for Enrollment and Student Success Jay Goff, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Donna Arbide and interim Chief Technology Officer Jared Johnson all contributed to the initiative. Elliott School Dean Alyssa Ayres, School of Medicine and Health Sciences Dean Barbara Bass, GW Law Dean Dayna Matthew and Milken Institute School of Public Health Dean Lynn Goldman also made Giving Day donations.

The Giving Day initiatives also saw social media promotion from public figures like actress and alumna Kerry Washington, who tweeted about the campaign, asking her followers to give to GW.

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