On December 1, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics held its first-ever Giving Day, dubbed #NCSSMGives, as part of Giving Tuesday, an international day of giving. The effort brought in over $40,000 in charitable gifts in support of the school.
“Across the board, I was very pleased with our results,” says NCSSM’s development director Lauren Carr. “For our first time actively participating in this social media movement, we had an incredible day.” Giving Tuesday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, follows popular shopping days Black Friday and Cyber Monday and was created to celebrate generosity.
“Donations came in for 24 solid hours, starting just after midnight and going all the way into the night,” Carr reports. Many new donors participated, building the school’s base of support. One of the best parts of the day, says Carr, was seeing the level of engagement. “We had a number of challenges throughout the day, issued from donors to other donors. Our peer challenges–presented by a family to other parents and by alumni from the classes of ’95, ’07 and ’08 to their classmates–absolutely helped inspire giving.”
Social media and conversations were critical for spreading the word. “I think that’s really what giving day is about–peer interaction and realizing that even a gift of $10 has a lot of impact when you encourage others to join you in support of a mission or cause that’s important,” she says. “Everyone has the opportunity to be an inspiration with just a simple retweet or status update.”
Throughout the day, many donors shared their thoughts on why they choose to support NCSSM, and spoke of the impact NCSSM has had on their lives, careers, and friendships. Some chose to make gifts in honor of someone who had a particular impact during their time at NCSSM.
Steven Norton ‘08 designated his gift to NCSSM’s humanities endowment, saying, “While I still love science and math, it was my history and literature classes that started me on the road to journalism. I’m forever grateful to all the outstanding professors and classmates I encountered at NCSSM, and I’m glad to be able to give back.”
Former math instructor Dot Doyle chose to support two endowments, giving to the Joan Barber Underrepresented Minorities Endowment, to honor the former vice chancellor for student life’s work over the years to mentor and support all students, “but especially her work with the Summer Leadership program. (And to honor her husband, Gabay, who passed away a few weeks ago.),” Doyle wrote in a post on Facebook. “And the other half of my donation goes to the Alumni Scholarship fund that funds one-time scholarships to NCSSM graduates to the college of their choice. I’m proud of the alumni who give back to the school, and I find this scholarship to be particularly meaningful.”
Chancellor Todd Roberts was pleased with the day’s outcome. He participated in the social media push as well. (Carr said she loved to see Dr. Roberts’ excitement when he realized that his wife, Arlene, had retweeted him.) “Giving Tuesday was a fantastic event for NCSSM in so many ways,” Chancellor Roberts says. “We had great participation from a variety of people. What I found so rewarding about the day were the many comments that donors made about why they were giving. I really appreciate the support our school received that day and throughout the year from the NCSSM family.”
#NCSSMGives by the numbers
$41,415.33 raised on December 1 from donations and pledged matching gifts.
20 different funds received designated gifts
159 donors participating, including:
96 alumni (28 of 34 classes participating!)
33 new donors