Faculty, Staff Prove Vital to UMassGives 2022

UMass Gives 4/28/22 and 4/29/22

In addition to contributing 716 gifts during the 2022 UMassGives, faculty and staff members were active participants in UMassGives this year, with nearly 80 doing their own outreach to raise funds on behalf of their departments and programs. Groups such as UMass Women into Leadership, the Stonewall Center, University Without Walls, the Ellsberg Initiative for Peace and Democracy, and the Minuteman Marching Band were all able to win bonus money during exciting Power Hours—hours during the 48-hour online giving campaign when the group with the largest number of donors won bonus money furnished by the university. 

The UMass Amherst IT Department’s scholarship, the Hannah Frilot Memorial Scholarship, raised $8,714 from 66 donations, and won another $500 in bonus money. The funds they worked so hard to raise will go to a scholarship for an outstanding undergraduate in the STEM field who has shown a commitment to working to promote the needs of LGBGTQIA individuals or overcoming gender inequalities in common spaces. The scholarship is in memory of UMass Amherst student and IT User Services member Hannah Frilot ’15. 

Genny Beeman, director of the Stonewall Center, has been leading the center’s efforts during UMassGives for years. “Raising money through UMassGives is critical to our budget,” Beeman says, “and the folks at Annual Giving make it so easy to participate and provide wonderful support.” The Stonewall Center uses the money they raise during UMassGives each year to supplement funding for their student employment program. The student employees work with professional staff to provide programming for our LGBTQ+ students, as well as educational outreach about LGBTQ+ issues to the larger UMass Amherst community.

The Minuteman Marching Band is another longtime UMassGives participant. Each year, supporters of the marching band come together during UMassGives and show their overwhelming love and support for the program. This year, the band raised over $16,000 from 166 donors. “UMassGives always unites the Minuteman Marching Band family: family, alumni, fans, and even current members all come together to help raise funds for our band. It’s always a positive experience for us,” said Tim Anderson, director of the band. 

 A new program on campus powered by College of Humanities and Fine Arts faculty, the Ellsberg Initiative for Peace and Democracy, raised an impressive $9,470 from 117 donations and was able to get to nearly $10,000 by winning another $500 during their Power Hour. The initiative focuses on the topics of U.S. imperialism, whistleblowing, democracy, secrecy and surveillance, and existential threats to our democratic society. The funds raised during UMassGives will go towards expanding the initiative, which will offer public lectures, panel discussions, presentations, and workshops, as well as teaching institutes, courses, research grants and fellowship programs. Since it has a five-year agenda, the institute can continue to use UMassGives each year as a way to reach out to donors and potential donors to support its work.

Another program new to UMassGives this year was the William E. Heronemus Fund: Wind Energy Center. It was able to raise $220 from six donors in its first year out. Margie Brenner, who ran the UMassGives campaign this year said that “UMassGives provided the Wind Energy Center at the College of Engineering with a new way to reach out to our community to increase scholarship money we provide to our students. We were so glad to be a part of the campaign this year.”  The fund plans to build on its work from this year to achieve even more success in 2023. 

Without the collective effort of so many faculty and staff members across campus, UMassGives would not be successful each year. This year, many people who are not fundraisers by trade worked hard and raised money for departments, programs, and centers across campus. These programs are so important to our students and are a huge part of what makes the UMass Amherst experience special for them.