Generosity unleashed: Inaugural Day of Giving exceeds expectations

The NIU family came together like never before during the NIU Foundation’s inaugural Day of Giving event last Tuesday and Wednesday, May 7-8. This 1,895-minute period was designed as an opportunity for everyone who loves and cares about NIU to show their support by being an ambassador, inspiring others and giving.  

While final results are still being tallied, donors provided more than 1,400 gifts to the NIU Foundation for a total of  $770,600.

“We are blown away by the generosity of Huskie Nation,” shared Michael Adzovic, director of the Northern Fund. “Coming into the Day of Giving, we had set a goal of raising $250,000 from 1,000 gifts. The results far exceeded our expectations.” 

A good portion of gifts were the result of challenge and matching gifts that were established to inspire giving. There were 40 such gifts, highlighted by a $100,000 challenge created by NIU alumnus Dr. Tom Scott ’75. His challenge was met when the gift tally reached 500. All seven academic colleges had giving challenges and matches, most of which were met. 

Four hundred and twenty-six of the Day of Giving gifts came from NIU faculty and staff.

“NIU faculty and staff showed up in a big way on the Day of Giving,” shared Adzovic. “As soon as we launched at 4:25 p.m. on Tuesday, we saw a flurry of gifts, mostly from employees.”  

“We are grateful to all of our campus partners,” says Adzovic. “We owe this overwhelming success to them.” NIU Foundation Day of Giving partners included seven of the academic colleges, as well as units such as Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Huskie Food Pantry, Huskie Athletics, the Honors Program and many more.

Current students also stepped up to make the day a success, stopping by mobile giving stations in Founders Memorial Library, New Hall, Stevenson Hall and Neptune Hall. Nearly 50 students donated during the busy finals week. 

There were also 170 social media ambassadors for the Day of Giving, and their work helped generate $38,000 in donations through social media. The effort also included the NIU Foundation’s first-ever “text-a-thon.” Nearly 20,000 texts were sent from the Foundation’s Huskie Engagement Center, mostly to recent NIU graduates and past donors.

“We view this effort as a huge success,” Adzovic said. “We can’t wait to take what we have learned from this inaugural effort to apply it to Day of Giving 2020.”  

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