It’ll take more than a pandemic to stop Aggie generosity. This year’s Give Day, which ended on Saturday, blew past last year’s record by nearly $1 million.
By day’s end, Give Day had brought in $3,467,783 from 5,663 gifts. That’s up from $2.6 million from 4,825 gifts last year. Donations came in from 46 states and 16 countries.
The tremendous show of support left event organizers and UC Davis leadership feeling both moved and deeply thankful.
“Our generous community of donors propelled us to another record-breaking Give Day,” said Chancellor Gary S. May. “We are so grateful to everyone who chose to support UC Davis and UC Davis Health after an exceptionally challenging year. Please take pride in knowing you’ve helped make UC Davis stronger.”
Aggies helping Aggies
The day’s gifts included $41,322 donated specifically for emergency funds such as the ASUCD Pantry, Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center and many others set up to meet urgent needs stemming from the pandemic. The Staff Emergency Fund, established last fall to provide quick cash awards to employees in need, brought in $5,840.
And, as always with Give Day, challenge gifts — pledged amounts that “unlock” with a predetermined number of gifts of any size — galvanized much of the support. This year featured 237 challenges (up from 166 last year) worth more than $2.3 million — almost as much as last year’s Give Day total.
One of the day’s biggest, the AvenueB Genentech Challenge, offered $100,000 from the Genentech Foundation to support students’ transition from community colleges to the College of Biological Sciences. It unlocked with 30 gifts.
A tremendous Give Day 2021 and progress on the Edwards Family Athletics Center…the future is bright for the UC Davis Aggies. THANK YOU to all who participated and we hope to see you soon! #GoAgs #EveryAggieCounts pic.twitter.com/I8aDKYyAuF— UC Davis Athletics (@ucdavisaggies) April 18, 2021
A growing tradition
This year marked UC Davis’ fifth Give Day, signifying a degree of maturity that event organizers feel contributed to the day’s success.
“After five years, we are really pleased to see Give Day coming into its own as a campus tradition,” said Shaun Keister, vice chancellor of Development and Alumni Relations, the division responsible for Give Day. “Donors see and experience the positive impacts UC Davis has on our community and the wider world — and they now know that setting up a Give Day challenge gift, or simply making a gift on Give Day, allows them to have a greater impact.”
Another factor: UC Davis’ highly visible leadership in addressing COVID-19 and its impacts throughout the year, including providing emergency support for students and staff.
“After a challenging year, we made sure to emphasize UC Davis and UC Davis Health programs that offer emergency support to students, staff, animals and communities in need,” said Keister. “We were also able to highlight our achievements in public health through our Healthy Davis Together partnership and our leadership throughout the pandemic in advancing testing, treatments and vaccines. Donors have expressed gratitude for all of this remarkable work as well as the desire to see it continue.”