Annual ‘Giving Day’ Breaks Cal Lu Record

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On April 3, California Lutheran University broke its own record for the amount of money received on the annual day of giving.

In just a 24-hour window, which began at 12:01 a.m. on April 3 and lasted until 12:01 a.m. on April 4, Giving Day raised a total of $577,533, according to the university website.

This year, donors had the ability to choose what department they wanted their donation to benefit.

“We had more than 20 options…so individuals were able to give where their hearts were,” Vice President of University Advancement Regina Biddings-Muro said.

The largest donation was $100,000, which was donated by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Leanne Nielson.

Biddings-Muro said she believes allowing donors a choice is why Giving Day was so successful.

“The other big driver was the individuals, faculty, staff, academic leaders and center and program directors. They also got their networks involved in providing support…the group of advocates was so much bigger,” Biddings-Muro said.

Assistant Director of Alumni and Family Relations Carrie Barnett said social media and social media ambassadors played a large part in the success as well.

“It was just about getting the word out and spreading the news of about not only what was happening with the numbers, but on campus,” Barnett said.

Anyone could log on to www.givingday.callutheran.edu and watch live totals roll in on leaderboards, view video messages and see photos of students who would benefit from donations. 

“I think once people went on the website and saw the tiles and different faces of the students, that really helped encourage people to give more than once or to different areas that they might not have known existed or wanted to give to before,” Barnett said.

Edlyn Peña, director of doctoral studies in higher education leadership associate professor of educational leadership and director of Autism and Communication center, said she was able to get about 10 social media ambassadors to help spread the word about her specific department.

“We had people from all over the United States and from two other countries donate. We reached more countries than any other office and reached third place in the number of engaged donors,” Peña said.

The top three categories that raised the most money are the annual fund at $137,000, scholarships at $118,000 and athletics at $68,500.

The highest numbers for single gifts were athletics with 345 donations, annual fund with 340 donations and Autism and Communication Center with 164 donations.

McKenna King
Reporter