CARBONDALE — The preliminary total raised through Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s fourth Day of Giving on March 4 reached more than $1.6 million. The total reflects more than 2,441 individual gifts from 43 states and 10 countries.
Chancellor John M. Dunn thanked donors for continued growth in support through the annual Day of Giving, from $340,000 in 2017 to more than $1 million in 2020. Last year, donors contributed $910,000 through the Day of Giving.
“The annual growth in contributions is another signal of confidence in the university’s momentum,” he said. “As we near the end of our 150th year, donors are positioning SIU for the next 150.”
Dunn added that ultimately, the Day of Giving is not about the number.
“It’s about impact,” he said. “Every gift made will help a student, support a program or contribute to the greater community through the arts, athletics and service. We are deeply grateful to everyone who gave.”
The theme of this year’s Day of Giving was “1 Vision. 24 Hours.” Between 6 a.m. March 4 and 5:59 a.m. March 5, donors visited siuday.siu.edu to support more than 150 programs, initiatives and scholarships.
The numbers aren’t final, said Rae Goldsmith, chief executive officer of the SIU Foundation.
“The immediate totals include gifts made online,” she said. “The numbers will grow as we count gifts made in person, by phone and by mail in the days ahead.”
The Day of Giving includes a friendly competition for traveling trophies recognizing academic and non-academic units raising the most funds or attracting the most individual gifts.
The College of Liberal Arts received more than $197,960, making it the academic unit that that raised the most funds. The School of Medicine had the highest number of individual gifts for an academic unit at 285. Among non-academic programs, Saluki Athletics received the most in total donations at $139,301. The Balancing Education, Experience and Reality (BEER) Scholarship supported by the Carbondale ‘80s & 90s Facebook group received 815 individual gifts, earning the trophy for most gifts raised by a non-academic unit.
The BEER Scholarship was recognized last year for its effort on SIU Day of Giving, which allowed the scholarship to become endowed, meaning it will be awarded every year by the university in perpetuity.
“Every gift of any size makes a difference,” Goldsmith said. “The Day of Giving demonstrates the power of community and philanthropy.”
She added that all gifts to the Day of Giving also support the foundation’s current $200 million Forever SIU campaign for the university.