Kent State’s Giving Tuesday Campaign Raises $3.6 Million for Scholarships and Programs

This November, members of the Kent State University community joined together to shine their light on philanthropy. During the November campaign, Kent State’s Giving Tuesday raised $3.6 million, marking the sixth year it has brought in more than $1 million to support scholarships and programs across Kent State’s eight-campus system. This included $1.7 million from legacy gifts, $160,000 from Kent State University Foundation matching gifts and $1.7 million from outright gifts and matches.

This year, Kent State’s most generous annual tradition featured a record 53 funds, each with their own matching funds made available through donor support. Alumni, donors, friends, faculty and staff had the opportunity to give to the area that matters most to them, including scholarships, education abroad, athletics, emergency funds and more.

The Kent State University Foundation provided $160,000 and members of Kent State’s volunteer boards – the Board of Trustees, the Kent State University Foundation Board and the Alumni Association Board – donated another $65,000 in matching gifts, all of which made the campaign’s innovative giving incentives possible. On Giving Tuesday, Nov. 29, gifts up to $1,000 to any Kent State University Foundation fund were matched one-to-one until the matching funds were exhausted. The foundation’s funds also supported Triple Your Gift Tuesday on Nov. 1 as well as $500 participation boosts that were awarded to featured funds for every 20 unique donors who gave $25 or more.

“Our community has once again proved that at Kent State, what sets us apart is how we come together,” said Valoree Vargo, vice president for philanthropy and alumni engagement at Kent State and CEO of the Kent State University Foundation. “Each gift made throughout this campaign has been doubled or tripled because of our matching gift incentives, and the impact this generosity will have on our students, our campuses and our programs is significant and immediate. We are deeply grateful for every dollar and every donor.”

New Kent State graduates smile as blue and gold confetti falls over them during their commencement ceremony.

During Donor/Dollar Challenge Week from Nov. 15-22, the two leading featured funds each received an extra $2,500 toward their goal: the Emergency Relief Fund at Kent State University at Stark for raising the most dollars and the First-Generation Student Support Fund for acquiring the most unique donors during the challenge. And for the first time, the second- and third-place winners in both categories were awarded an additional $1,000 and $500, respectively.

A special addition to the 2022 Giving Tuesday campaign was a student-led volunteer opportunity with the Flashes Fighting Hunger initiative. An anonymous donor pledged to match student volunteer hours in November with financial support for the program’s Giving Tuesday featured fund.

“I really want to impact those who are struggling on my campus and in my community,” explained Nathan Ritchey, a senior mathematics and neuroscience major at Kent State who plans to graduate in 2023. “No person should be struggling to find food or to afford food, so I think that this gives me the opportunity to really fight these challenges in our community. I think this hour-for-hour matching program will make an enormous difference.” 

Throughout the month, students completed 304 volunteer hours with Flashes Fighting Hunger and collected a total of 1,053 pounds of food and toiletry items for those in need.

“We were thrilled to see more students get involved in our most generous annual tradition this year through the Flashes Fighting Hunger initiative,” said Danielle Hupp, Kent State’s senior associate director of communications and special giving initiatives. “Whether monetarily or through volunteering time and talent, we celebrate all of the ways our community makes an impact. Flashes give back. It’s who we are and what we do.” 

Out of all the featured funds, the Kent State Wrestling Enhancement Fund earned the most donations, raising more than $58,000 to broaden the program’s travel opportunities and expand its competition footprint from a regional to a national level. 

As Giving Tuesday 2022 comes to a close, Kent State students and President Todd Diacon have a special message of thanks for Golden Flashes available at www.kent.edu/givingtuesday.  

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Media Contacts:
Leigh Greenfelder, lgreenfe@kent.edu, 330-672-7108 
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595

POSTED: Thursday, December 1, 2022 10:34 AM
UPDATED: Monday, April 15, 2024 07:02 PM
WRITTEN BY:
Division of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement