By Katie Davern
On Sept. 18, the University of Dallas participated in the sixth annual North Texas Giving Day, an online fundraising event that raised over $136,000 for the university.
“It’s a great event to start off the year for us, especially for the fundraising cycle,” said Jim Livernois, director of annual giving programs. “It’s a great opportunity to get our constituents involved, because they know that the money benefits the students and the programs going on here on campus.”
The annual event provides nonprofits with the opportunity to gain exposure and start relationships with new donors, and gives people in the North Texas area a reason to come together to raise as much money as possible for local nonprofits. In six years, the online giving events have pumped more than $86 million into the North Texas community.
This year, community-wide events, nonprofit performances, and a groundswell of support led up to the event. On Thursday, the event exceeded its own national giving day record, bringing in more than 98,000 gifts totaling $26,344,159.10 and benefitting 1580 nonprofit organizations. From 6 a.m. to midnight, donations poured in from all over, including all 50 states, six territories and more than 28 countries. Donations of $25 or more received bonus funds and prizes from the Communities Foundation of Texas.
UD received $136,440 in donations made by nearly 380 gifts from parents, alumni and friends of the university. Though the campaign fell short of its goal of $150,000, the total still surpassed last year’s by almost nine percent.
“For the second year in a row, it set another record for total number of gifts and total dollars raised,” Livernois said. “Roughly we raised about ten percent of our annual Cor Fund total in just one day.”
“[North Texas Giving Day is] primarily driven toward engaging your various bases – your alumni, parents, students, staff, faculty, friends, to give online,” said Selena Anguiano, director of corporate and foundation relations. “It’s a real cheerleading event for individuals not in the UD community anymore, especially the alumni…Most of us in the Advancement Office are alumni, so it’s also an opportunity to reach out to our personal connections on our social media platforms.”
According to Anguiano, the department set up a command center in the Office of Advancement’s conference room where staff worked from 6 a.m. to midnight.
“It was great, we had a fantastic time,” Livernois said. “We turned into a big advancement event, and had a lot of support from people on campus.”
Livernois said he was very pleased with the success of the event.
“Like all events that succeed like this, there’s a lot of work that goes into it,” he said.
The Office of Advancement already has high hopes for next year’s North Texas Giving Day, and is excited for the start it has provided to the fundraising year. “It really encourages gifts when we do other appeals throughout the year,” Anguiano said.