Pulling Together During the Pandemic
Alumni, friends, faculty and staff break records for giving back.
For the past five years, Kent State has ushered in the season of giving with a monthlong celebration of philanthropy in November. “Giving back” is a main tenet of the Kent State global community and members demonstrated that belief in an unprecedented swell of support this year.
Despite the economic impact of COVID-19, Kent State’s Giving Tuesday campaign shattered previous years’ records as alumni, friends, faculty and staff raised $2,233,145 to support more than 2,300 students, many of whom are facing financial hardships.
This year featured 35 funds that focus on the university’s goal to prioritize student success through scholarships and programs within the key areas of ensuring access, rewarding achievement, enhancing experiences and fostering completion. Through the support of 2,100 donors, more Kent State students will benefit from a transformative college experience.
Weekly giving incentives were announced each Tuesday from Nov. 10 through the “official” Giving Tuesday (the international day of philanthropy), which fell on Dec. 1 this year. The Kent State University Foundation’s popular incentives included one-to-one matching on Dec. 1 and participation boosts that provided an extra $500 for every 20 unique donors who gave $25 or more to a featured fund.
“The numbers for this year’s Giving Tuesday campaign were larger than ever, but what those figures represent is even more telling,” says Danielle Hupp, senior associate director, Special Giving Initiatives. “They show that the Kent State community comes together, in good times and in bad, to make a lasting impact on our community.”
The Kent State Emergency Grant Fund was the standout fund of Giving Tuesday 2020. With $100,000 in matching money and another $40,000 pledged before the campaign launched, it raised $177,784 to support students in need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Giving back is at the heart of the Kent State community."
Since March, nearly 10,000 students have reached out as they attempt to navigate this unprecedented situation. Many have received help through the grant or CARES Act Funding, but more than 2,000 students were still awaiting some form of assistance. The money raised through Giving Tuesday for the Kent State Emergency Grant Fund will help Kent State students succeed in earning a degree.
Golden Flashes around the globe are looking to give back, and the university will continue to offer them meaningful opportunities to do so during Flashes Give Back Week in April.
“We are moved by the generosity of spirit we continue to see among our university community,” says Valoree Vargo, interim vice president of philanthropy and alumni engagement and the executive director of the Kent State Foundation. “Even in times of uncertainty, the Kent State family remains steadfast in its commitment to others. We know that giving back with time, talent and treasure is at the heart of the Kent State community.”