AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst on Tuesday is kicking off its second annual UMassGives fundraising campaign, a 36-hour online event driven by social media and aimed at increasing the number of donors to the state’s flagship campus.
The UMassGives campaign will begin at noon on Founders Day, Tuesday, April 29 and continue through midnight on Wednesday, April 30.
People can give at any time during the campaign – and keep track of the campaign progress in real time – at www.umass.edu/umassgives. There, they can also see video messages from Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy.
Already, 200 volunteer “ambassadors” are promoting the event through Twitter, Facebook and other social media. The online ambassadors program will continue after UMassGives has concluded, reporting the achievements and sharing online conversations.
Stephanie Flaherty, interim co-executive director of annual giving, said, “The purpose of UMassGives is to foster excitement among UMass Amherst alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and friends about giving to UMass Amherst, with the goal of increasing the number of donors to the university. UMassGives happens only once a year for 36 hours and occurs over Founder’s Day. We can’t think of a better way for the alumni and campus community to come together to show their support and celebrate their UMass pride.”
The inaugural campaign in 2013 coincided with the university’s sesquicentennial and drew 1,533 donors. Organizers this year say they hope to attract 1,863 donors, to honor the year of the university’s founding. The first UMassGives campaign raised more than $84,000.
There will be six bonus challenges during the campaign this year. Challenge money is being provided by the UMass Amherst Foundation. Donors can help their favorite area of campus, a registered student organization, or the school or college they graduated from receive a bonus of up to $6,000 by making a gift of any size during UMassGives. Details are on the website.
Last year, areas of campus that won bonus challenges included the Permaculture Initiative, Women for UMass Amherst and the Minuteman Marching Band.
People who are on campus Tuesday will be able to donate in person from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the UMassGives tent at the free Founders Day cookout on Goodell Lawn. The UMassGives tent will be in front of Bartlett Hall, near Goodell. T-shirts will be given to all donors who share #UMassGives on social media from the computers available at the cookout.