On March 3, West Virginia University received more than 5,000 gifts and donations totaling $11.9 million during the University’s fourth annual Day of Giving, setting new records for the 24-hour online fundraising event held across the University system.
The final numbers exceeded the $11.3 million raised during the last event held in 2019 and nearly doubled the $6 million raised the year before. The combined total for all four Days of Giving, organized by the nonprofit WVU Foundation, exceeds $32 million.
All of these donations will allow for many new opportunities to arise for the University, according to Bill Nevin, associate vice president of communications for the WVU Foundation.
“Mountaineer Nation really stepped up during our fourth WVU Day of Giving,” Nevin said. “Because of the generosity of so many on WVU Day of Giving, new scholarships will be created for students, educational programs enhanced and facilities improved.”
Donations like these help fund student programs, clubs and organizations, allowing students to continue to grow their platforms on campus. These donations also benefit other facets of the University system, including WVU Medicine, Potomac State College and WVU Tech, and will aid in funding projects like the construction of new residence halls and educational facilities.
As donations could be made to any area of the University system, the Foundation created specific challenges such as the “Most First Time Donors Challenge” and the “Most Dollars Raised Challenge.” Extra funding was awarded to the groups with the most successful participation in each challenge.
Some challenges, such as the “Thank a First-Responder or Frontline Worker Challenge,” did not take monetary donations into account, but focused instead on social media involvement.
Participants posted on Instagram and Twitter using the #WVUDayofGiving hashtag and the specific hashtag for the University area they wished to support. Areas that placed first in these challenges received an additional $1500, second place received $1000, and third place $500.
Several challenges were marked a success, including the 2021 Energy Express Literacy Challenge, Fifty Gifts for Our Future, Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute Leadership Challenge and School of Participation Challenge.
The top 30 participating groups that raised the most money were awarded additional funding. The University Top Priorities, Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources and the WVU Cancer Institute were among the top three in the leaderboard.
The top 30 participating groups that received the most donations were also awarded additional funding. The top three groups on the leaderboard included College of Creative Arts, WVU Extension Service and the Chambers College of Business and Economics.
In addition to organizing the Day of Giving, the WVU Foundation has also established a special fundraising initiative called “We Are Stronger Together” that helps provide financial support to students affected by the economic challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented.