#GivingTuesday inspires more than 6,500 gifts

Gifts totaling more than $700,000 to benefit range of initiatives across the University

Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The University asked the Penn State community to show its Penn State pride during #GivingTuesday 2018, a national day to celebrate the power of giving back, and Penn Staters stepped forward in great numbers with gifts. On Nov. 26 and 27, areas across the University received more than $700,000 and garnered more than 6,500 gifts, a 51 percent increase from last year’s total of 4,300 gifts.  

“During this season of gratitude and giving, I am thankful that so many Penn Staters have chosen to make philanthropy a part of their holiday celebrations,” said O. Richard Bundy III, vice president for development and alumni relations. “The generosity we saw on #GivingTuesday speaks volumes about the pride our alumni, friends, parents and students feel toward one another and toward our great University.”

While the gifts made on Nov. 26 and 27 benefited a range of initiatives across the University, 42 units saw a particularly significant impact as a result of special #GivingTuesday campaigns to support causes within their units. Among participating units, the Penn State Blue Band garnered the greatest number of gifts (221) as it raised support for the Blue Band Legacy Fund. Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics, which received $41,575 for the Levi Lamb Fund, led the effort in terms of dollars raised.

Separately, the Penn State Dance Marathon (THON) hosted its own fundraising effort with a matching gift from Johnson & Johnson, contributing an extraordinary 3,700 gifts to Penn State’s fundraising totals for the day.

Participation in #GivingTuesday was particularly strong among young alumni. Graduates of the last decade (GOLD) who supported an official #GivingTuesday campaign with a gift of $5 or more secured a 1:1 match from Penn State, up to $100. GOLD donors rose to the challenge, generating a total impact of more than $40,000 with a total of 510 gifts.

Seventeen Penn State student groups at the University Park campus and Penn State Abington engaged in fundraising efforts to support their organizations, together raising nearly $14,000 from 493 gifts. Club Gymnastics led with the way in number of gifts (102), while the Schreyer Student Council raised the highest total ($2,100).

Penn Staters shared updates throughout the day on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the official hashtag, #PSUGivingTue.

“#GivingTuesday is an opportunity to discover what Penn Staters can achieve when we act together,” said Jenny Daigle Benoit, Penn State’s executive director for annual giving. “By supporting a range of worthy causes and organizations across the University, the Penn State community has helped to make our world-class institution even stronger and given us many reasons to be Penn State proud.”

Gifts made on #GivingTuesday 2018 will advance "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a 21st century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit

Last Updated December 06, 2018