Kent State’s Giving Tuesday Launches Monthlong Initiative Featuring Numerous Incentives for Supporters

On Nov. 2, philanthropic gifts will be tripled 

Kent State University, which has gained national recognition for its creative and successful Giving Tuesday campaigns, launched its monthlong celebration of philanthropy on Nov. 1. Giving Tuesday, now in its eighth year at Kent State, has raised nearly $7 million during that time, which illuminates the impact that can be made when Golden Flashes come together. Kent State’s most generous annual tradition will shine even more brilliantly this year as each featured fund supports the recently launched Forever Brighter, the most ambitious comprehensive fundraising campaign in the history of the university.  

The Forever Brighter campaign was announced in October with a goal of raising $350 million in support of key university initiatives, capital improvements and, most importantly, Kent State student success. Through this campaign, philanthropy will provide scholarship support, top-tier faculty and facilities, global education and high-impact experiences to help support Kent State in its continuous rise in both national rankings and graduation rates. 

Kent State’s Board of Trustees, Foundation Board, Campaign Executive Committee, Alumni Board and President’s Cabinet have generously pledged their private support to encourage participation from the entire university community. Their gifts, which total nearly $60,000, will be used to help fund the incentives that make Kent State’s Giving Tuesday campaign unique and impactful. 

Each Tuesday during the month of November, the university will announce a new incentive. The first incentive – Triple Your Gift Tuesday – is set for Nov. 2. During that 24-hour period, any gift (up to $1,000 per donor) to a Giving Tuesday featured fund will be tripled for that day. Donors will be matched once by the specific fund’s match and once by the volunteer boards at Kent State, until the allotted money runs out. 

“Students are the heart of our university, and supporting their success is our first priority at Kent State,” said Valoree Vargo, vice president for philanthropy and alumni engagement at Kent State and executive director of the Kent State University Foundation. “Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to transform the lives of our students. Each gift paves the way, giving students access to higher education, enhanced experiences, greater academic achievement and the means to graduate and pursue their dreams.”

Throughout the month of November and leading up to Giving Tuesday, Kent State is offering additional chances to make each gift’s impact go even further. For every 20 unique donors who give $25 or more to a Giving Tuesday fund from Nov. 1-29, that fund will earn a $500 participation boost. Additionally, every donor who gives $100 or more during the Giving Tuesday campaign will receive an exclusive Forever Brighter lapel pin. Golden Flashes can also expect some surprise giving incentives leading up to the nationally recognized Giving Tuesday on Nov. 30, when the Kent State University Foundation sets aside $100,000 to match donors dollar for dollar on gifts up to $1,000 made to any foundation fund. 

“If I hadn’t received scholarships, I would have had to take out more loans and bear the mental stress of having a substantial amount of debt hanging over my head,” said John McDermott, a 2020 Kent State graduate. “Having scholarships allowed me to devote more time to school and extracurriculars. Scholarships truly change the lives of students like me.”

As in previous years, each of the featured funds in this year’s Giving Tuesday campaign has a matching gift available, so donors can double the impact their gift makes throughout the entire month. The campaign includes a crowdfunding feature, allowing students, employees, alumni and other supporters to create individual peer-to-peer fundraising pages for the cause of their choice. 

This year, students are also participating in Giving Tuesday through a competition with the University of Akron. Members of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) from both universities are organizing a fundraising effort to combat food insecurity during the season of giving. Both schools are collecting nonperishable food items, beginning Nov. 1. Kent State alumni and community members are also welcome to contribute to the food drive, which will benefit the Flashes Fighting Hunger initiative, a student-powered and volunteer-driven organization dedicated to reducing food waste and promoting food security. Items can be dropped off at multiple locations on the Kent Campus, including the Memorial Athletic and Convocation (MAC) Center, Kent Student Center, University Library and the Campus Kitchen, which is located on the second floor of the Tri-Towers Rotunda. The winner will be announced on social media during the Wagon Wheel football game in Akron on Nov. 20.

“Kent State has been participating in Giving Tuesday since 2014, and each year we have been raising the bar, challenging Golden Flashes to show the impact that can be made when our community comes together,” said Danielle Hupp, senior associate director of communications and giving initiatives at Kent State. “The true power of Giving Tuesday is the ripple effect of philanthropy. When a gift is made, its impact radiates far beyond one student or a single dollar amount. So many Kent State students need support, and the funds raised throughout this one month every year change their lives for years to come.”

Kent State’s Giving Tuesday celebration began Nov. 1 and will run through 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 30. Information on all the Giving Tuesday initiatives can be found at

About Kent State University
Kent State University is the highest-ranked public university in northern Ohio on the Top Public Schools and Best National Universities lists by U.S. News & World Report. With eight campuses spanning Northeast Ohio, a College of Podiatric Medicine, a Twinsburg Academic Center and academic sites in major world cities, such as New York City, Geneva and Florence, Kent State is one of Ohio’s leading public universities and a major educational, economic and cultural resource far beyond the Northeast Ohio region it has served since 1910. Kent State is a national leader in award-winning student support services to graduate students. The student body comprises about 35,000 students, including 1,370 international students from nearly 100 countries, and the worldwide alumni family exceeds 262,000. The addition of new learning environments from the sciences to the arts and the development of exciting new academic programs characterize Kent State’s focus on transformational educational experiences. Kent State is one of 91 public doctoral universities with high research activity, as categorized by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

For more information about Kent State, visit

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Media Contact:
Leigh Greenfelder,, 330-672-7108

POSTED: Monday, November 01, 2021 12:09 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 08, 2023 01:20 AM
Bethany Sava