APRIL 25, 2019 BY TINA H. HAHN
When the last online click was made, University of Mississippi alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff and friends had contributed 1,053 gifts totaling $542,990 during the inaugural Giving Day on April 11-12.
The social-media driven event launched on the morning of April 11 and lasted 1 day, 8 hours and 48 minutes in honor of the university’s founding year of 1848. In addition to attracting gifts of all sizes for the 26 participating schools, colleges and programs, the goal was to encourage more people to become engaged in exciting developments at Ole Miss.
The top five areas to receive support were The Ole Miss Fund, College of Liberal Arts, School of Business Administration, Students Affairs and the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation. Alumni, faculty and friends made challenge gifts that kept the momentum running high throughout the campaign, which will be held again next year.
“We are so proud of how the Ole Miss family came together and supported our great university,” said Maura Langhart, director of Annual Giving in the Office of University Development. “Our thanks go to all those who responded, once more illustrating that a hallmark of Ole Miss is a deeply held commitment among stakeholders is to ‘give back’ and pave the way for current and future students.
“Throughout the event, people were so engaged, using social media to spread the word. So many made gifts and challenged their friends and family to join them,” Langhart continued. “Giving Day offered further proof that when the Rebel Nation comes together, anything is possible.”
The goals of Giving Day included securing unrestricted support for all areas on campus and engaging with the university’s stakeholders in a new way, said Langhart, who shared that Giving Day also offered a much broader impact that just the Oxford campus.
“A recent impact study showed that for every dollar invested in Ole Miss, Mississippi gains $5.70 back in state revenue and social savings. Giving Day provided the perfect opportunity for our stakeholders to expand that impact, and they really out did themselves. We are so grateful for their commitment to enhancing educational opportunities that transform the lives of Ole Miss students and the life of our state.”
University Development reaches out to stakeholders in numerous of ways to let them know about needs at Ole Miss, including its crowdfunding platform Ignite Ole Miss. Ignite projects capture a wide audience through emails and social networks and also provides a user-friendly way of supporting specific projects – just like Giving Day.
“The response to Giving Day was inspiring and indicates that our university community cares about funding excellence in education,” said Charlotte Parks, vice chancellor for Development. “The emphasis on building private support has increased as state support has decreased. Only around 12.4 percent of our operating revenues come from state funds.
“We have ambitious goals to expand scholarships, faculty support, technology, facilities and service opportunities, and we ask the entire Ole Miss family to continue helping us build resources.”
For more information on ways of supporting the university, visit online at https://give.olemiss.edu.