By Breeda Bennett-Jones
The College raised more than $275,000 on Thursday, Nov. 2, during its third annual Day of Giving, part of the 18.19.20 fundraising initiative honoring President R. Barbara Gitenstein.
The Day of Giving was a campuswide effort of The Office of Development, Brand Management, Alumni Affairs, the deans of the seven schools and student organizations including TCNJ Ambassadors and Student Government.
In the Brower Student Center and Eickhoff Hall, students had the opportunity to donate in cash or online using the educational crowdsourcing website, GiveCampus.
Alumni, faculty, family and friends also had the opportunity to donate online throughout the day.
Several alumni encouraged donations by creating challenges. Alumna Terri Martinac (’72 & ’73) pledged to donate $20 for every donation made by a member of the Class of 2006.
“I’m a very proud alumnus of the college,” Martinac said. “I think the students are of the highest quality and character.”
During the Day of Giving, $278,012 in donations were raised, according to Christen Jones, the director of development and annual giving.
Alumni raised 49 percent of donations, staff raised 22 percent, current students raised 12 percent, parents raised 9 percent and friends of the campus community raised 7 percent. There were 1,418 donors in total, with an average donation amount of $200. All of the alumni challenges were matched, including a $10,000 challenge created halfway through the day by alumni Andy and Maria Polansky (’83).
While other colleges have fundraising initiatives, Jones emphasized how focusing on one day brings the campus together.
“Its success is really the result of everyone coming around this general goal we have for the whole college,” Jones said. “It reminds you of the power a community has.”
While the Class of 2021 had the most donors of all current student classes, according to Jones, the Class of 2018 used the day as an opportunity to work on raising money for its senior class gift. This year, the class aims to raise enough money to donate a bench for the campus.
“This senior class was so enthusiastic,” Jones said. “They want to create that legacy, which folks can come back to and remember.”
Reminders of the Day of Giving were all around campus on Thursday. WTSR played music outside the student center as free hot chocolate was given out from tables flanked by blue and gold balloons.
Inside the student center, students who donated had the chance to spin a prize wheel and win merchandise including lanyards, cups and laptop stickers.
“I think the most coveted prize is the Roscoe plushy,” said alumna Jenna Burke (’17).
Burke has been a graduate assistant with the Office of Development since August, where she specialized in doing publicity for annual giving and fundraising efforts.
“I think (donating) is really important,” Burke said. “You can show that you care about the College and that you’re putting it in good hands.”
Students also had the opportunity to pose with friends and props in a photo booth set up by the exit. The new Roscoe the Lion roamed the area, posing for pictures and giving people high-fives.
“It helps make philanthropy fun,” said Missy Lide, the associate director of annual giving.
Students also had the opportunity to pay homage to Gitenstein’s tenure as president of the College. After posing for a photograph taken on a polaroid camera, students printed heartfelt notes on the pictures and pasted them into a farewell scrapbook.
The scrapbook was a token of appreciation for all of Gitenstein’s work for the College, according to Lide.
“We wanted to bring some attention and some light to the amazing and humble person she is,” Lide said.
Jones echoed her appreciation for Gitenstein.
“I am so proud to work with her every day,” Jones said. “This one was for the Git.”