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Friday, May 14, 2021

Western Give Day brings in $389,985

The Western Foundation’s second annual Give Day was a record-breaking success.

“We raised 55 percent more dollars than last year’s Give Day,” Angie Vandenhaak, director of development and annual giving, said.

Give Day, a 24-hour fundraising campaign dedicated to supporting Western students, took place on Thursday, June 1.

A total of 1,553 gifts were given to Western amounting to $389,985.

Vandenhaak said the success was due in large part to the involvement of students, faculty and staff spreading the word and making their own gifts.

This year, the day also featured a party in Red Square featuring free food, games and prizes for students.

Vandenhaak said the fundraiser was primarily online-based but they took support any way they could get, such as walk-in donations, gifts over the phone or in person at Red Square.

“In one day, we received more than 10 percent of the total number of gifts we saw in all of fiscal year [2016],” Vandenhaak said.

The number of donors is less than the total gifts that were made, as people made more than one gift, Vandenhaak said in an email.

Vandenhaak also said this is the first year where students were included in giving.

“We always love including students in thanking and sharing what Western means to them and helping tell our story so we can secure more support for them,” Vandenhaak said.

Foundation Board member and Western alumnus Dave Mann and his wife Ann Thompson Mann pledged to match $30 for every gift a student made of $5 or more, up to $5,000.

Due to the matching gift, the first 166 students who gave at least $5 to their favorite club or program could have their gift matched.

“We wanted to make it accessible for students to be involved. We know students are doing a lot of fundraising for their own projects on campus, or for their own clubs or teams,” Vandenhaak said. “We wanted to give students an opportunity to help tell that story on Give Day to secure support for the programs that mean the most to them, but also give them a chance if they want to give back.”

They wanted to give students a chance to also give back at a level students can afford, Vandenhaak said.

Donors could designate their gift to anywhere on campus, such as club or departments, or in honor of someone, Mary Doherty, director of marketing and communications for University Advancement, said.

“It’s a good opportunity for students to realize that part of their Western experience is provided by people who are also contributing,” Doherty said.

Last year, WWU Give Day made over $250,000, with over 689 donations made on the day.

The Red Square Give Day party was sponsored by the Manns. The party featured food, games, prizes and a Viking photo booth. There was also a thanking station where students wrote thank you notes and signed a banner that will be posted on Fraser Hall through commencement.

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