UMass Amherst’s First Social Media Fundraiser, UMassGives, Raises Nearly $84,000 as Part of Sesquicentennial Celebration

May 1, 2013

Contact: Ed Blaguszewski 413/545-0444

AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst’s first-ever fundraising campaign driven by social media was a resounding success this week, raising $83,947 during a 36-hour event that included 1,533 online gifts as the campus kicked off its 150th birthday celebration.
 
Sarah Sligo, executive director of annual giving, says, “Our alumni and friends, faculty and staff really rose to the challenge with this campaign. So many made it clear that UMass gives so much to the Commonwealth and beyond, and they wanted to give something back. I think the UMassGives theme really spoke to people, especially those with a personal connection to this campus on our 150th anniversary.”
 
She adds, “We were thrilled to see the energy and enthusiasm in our student population, both those who helped out with the campaign and those who gave to it. It’s such a great testament to the community that can be fostered on our flagship campus.”
 
The social media fundraiser launched at noon on Founders Day, April 29, at a picnic where Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy cut a 150-pound cake and a crowd of thousands sang “Happy Birthday.” The campaign goal was to increase the number of donors among alumni and other supporters. A core group of more than 125 alumni, friends, faculty and staff already active on social media served as online ambassadors to inspire first-time donors.