UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s #GivingTuesday event — which culminated on Tuesday, Dec. 1 — set records for the sixth year in a row. Expressing support for more than 125 University campaigns, Penn State alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends helped to raise over $990,000 and generated more than 10,400 gifts, exceeding 2019’s record of 7,600 gifts.
“There are few more inspiring expressions of Penn Staters’ support for each other than what we saw on #GivingTuesday,” said O. Richard Bundy III, vice president for development and alumni relations. “At the end of a deeply challenging year, Penn Staters chose to look forward with generosity and optimism. This is what the 'We Are' spirit is all about.”
Gifts benefited the largest number of #GivingTuesday campaigns to date and supported scholarships, athletics and a wide variety of programs focused on areas such as sustainability, health care and diversity, equity and inclusion across the commonwealth. Among participating units, Dickinson Law led the fundraising effort with contributions to the Dickinson Law Future Fund totaling more than $72,000 from 78 donors. Top-performing campaigns for total gifts included the Nittany Lion Club’s ONE TEAM initiative (316), the Penn State Blue Band Legacy Fund (241), and the Penn State Alumni Association (189), which raised support to provide free Blue & White Society memberships to first-year students who contribute to the diversity of the student community.
The Penn State Dance Marathon (THON) hosted its own fundraising effort fueled by a matching gift from Johnson & Johnson, contributing 5,366 gifts to Penn State’s fundraising totals for the day, almost twice the number of gifts secured by the organization during #GivingTuesday 2019.
Adapting to a fully virtual fundraising approach, 26 Penn State student groups led efforts to support their organizations, together raising more than $19,000 from 499 gifts. Harmony secured the top number of gifts (92), while First Gen Advocates raised the highest dollar amount among the participating student groups ($3,725).
Campaign updates and impact stories were shared throughout the day on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the event’s official hashtag, #TogetherWeAre.
“This #GivingTuesday, we asked our University community to demonstrate just how much we can accomplish together — and the thousands of participating alumni, friends, students, faculty, staff and fans answered loud and clear,” said Jenny Daigle Benoit, Penn State’s executive director for annual giving. “Penn Staters are outstanding in their generosity. We truly are one community working together to create a better world.”
Gifts made on #GivingTuesday 2020 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 hard-working students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by serving communities and fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit greaterpenstate.psu.edu.