5th Give Day Sparks Enthusiasm

The pandemic didn’t stop UC Davis Give Day from breaking records last year, and it looks like this year’s 29-hour event, coming up Friday into Saturday, April 16-17, is keeping up the great momentum.

Community donors have stepped up to offer 233 challenges worth more than $2.3 million. Last year’s Give Day featured 166 challenge gifts — a record at that time — worth $1.9 million. The event ultimately raised $2.6 million.

Challenge gifts make contributions of any size go further by “unlocking” larger amounts put forth by community donors. While not all Give Day donations come in response to challenge gifts, challenges are a good indicator of donor enthusiasm.


WHEN: Noon Friday (April 16) to 5 p.m. Saturday (Picnic Day, April 17). Early gifts welcome.

WHERE: Online.

107TH PICNIC DAY: Take in campus sights and sounds virtually — the perfect accompaniment to Give Day. The Picnic Day schedule of events is posted here (all links will be working on Picnic Day). More information is available on the Picnic Day website.

“We are so grateful for this wonderful show of support for UC Davis from all corners of our community, especially since this has been such a challenging year,” said Michelle Poesy, senior director of the Annual and Special Gifts Program in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, or DEVAR, which has been holding Give Day annually since 2017.

In addition to support for academic programs, research and community services across both the UC Davis and UC Davis Health campuses, this year’s Give Day continues to offer Emergency Funds established last year supporting students and staff in response to COVID-19.

“Give Day is really a time to support whichever UC Davis programs and services bring meaning and joy to our lives,” Poesy said. “Many people will sprinkle gifts of any size around to support both the programs they value and students and staff in need. That’s the great thing about Give Day.”

Also like last year, Give Day will be online only. However, participants can engage in a number of fun virtual events, including a Virtual Parade offering a taste of the Picnic Day tradition (look for the link on the Picnic Day website). The “parade” features Chancellor Gary S. May, an array of faculty and students from across campuses, and a dachshund named Tallulah who is already training for next year’s Doxie Derby.

A sample of challenges

A baby in a hospital
  • Ink Your Gift for the Pediatric ICU — Wild Bill’s Tattoo holds a tattoo-a-thon annually with artists donating earnings and tips to the UC Davis Children’s Hospital. Whether you’re inked or not, help supply the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit with temporal thermometers to keep kids safe. Twenty gifts unlock this $3,500 challenge.
  • COVID-19 Testing and Care Support Challenge — Your gift will allow the UC Davis Medical Center to expand diagnostic and testing capacity and continue supporting extended staff time and benefits for health care providers affected by the pandemic. Twenty-five gifts unlock this $3,000 challenge.
  • Lake Tahoe Clarity Restoration — The Tahoe Environmental Research Center is developing a sustainable method of removing invasive Mysis shrimp from the lake to restore clarity and native ecosystems. The Mysis will be transformed into the world’s healthiest dog treats. Fifteen gifts unlock this $2,500 challenge.
  • Aggie Launch Challenge — Support Aggie Launch, our campus-wide commitment to provide every student with experiential learning opportunities, mentorship and a head start on their job search. Twenty-five gifts unlock this $25,000 challenge.
  • Animal Science Dairy Challenge — Animal Science is gearing up to sell fresh cow’s milk and goat cheese on campus. Students maintain the dairy cattle and goat herds while gaining valuable experience. Ten gifts unlock a $2,500 challenge.
  • Student Hardship Fund Challenge From the Chuang Family Foundation — Whether it’s COVID-19, wildfires, food insecurity or another difficult situation, the Student Hardship Fund provides flexible funds to support students facing crisis. Fifteen gifts unlock this $10,000 challenge.
  • AvenueB Genentech Challenge: Help strengthen the pathway of transfer students from community colleges to the College of Biological Science. One-hundred gifts unlock $100,000 from the Genentech Foundation.
  • Outdoor Adventures Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Challenge — Outdoor Adventures develops leaders by connecting people and nature. Your support will improve access for underrepresented communities. Fifty gifts unlock this $10,000 challenge.

Media Resources

Joan Fischer is a senior writer for the Annual and Special Gifts Program in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, and can be reached by email or at 530-754-0482.

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