The Transformation of #GivingTuesday in Higher Ed

Happy #GivingTuesday! Now that everyone’s bellies are stuffed and your wallet is begging you to give it a rest from all the shopping this weekend, it’s time to give back. TargetX is a big supporter of #GivingTuesday and its motto, “a day when the world comes together!”

I asked CRM Consultant and committee member of TargetX’s philanthropic initiative, Power of X, Megan Sneeringer, what she thought about #GivingTuesday and how higher ed can benefit from the special day. As a fundraising professional, Megan sat front row to the transformative impact of philanthropy in higher education.

AS: To those who haven’t heard of #GivingTuesday, how would you best describe the initiative?

MS: #GivingTuesday is a day to celebrate giving, philanthropy, and promote the good work done by non-profits around the world and is fueled by the power of social media. #GivingTuesday is a chance to reflect on how you give your time or money to organizations that are meaningful to you.

AS: How can higher ed benefit?

MS: We hear a lot about the rising cost of higher education, but what many people don’t realize is that tuition doesn’t fully cover the cost to educate a student. That funding gap is often filled by philanthropic donations from alumni, corporations and foundations, faculty and staff, students, and others. And supporting higher education is certainly a worthy cause! Your gifts to colleges and universities provide scholarships, class technology and enhancements, fund research projects and much more. Plus, your participation is most important. Larger granting organizations often look at alumni giving participation rates when determining how to allocate their funding. It makes sense if you think about it- if the alumni won’t support their alma mater, why should they?

AS: In 2015, #GivingTuesday raised nearly $117 million (source). What do you think is in the future of #GivingTuesday?

MS: #GivingTuesday has been very successful in raising awareness and dollars. I think that trend will continue. With social media and news outlets spreading the word about the good work nonprofits do, the impact of philanthropic donations can be seen everywhere. I think the more people see their dollars at work, the more they will continue to give.

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