Fanning the Flame on Giving Day

Donors lit a fire beneath several UAB projects with passion on the third annual UAB Giving Day, held April 12. Altogether, 792 donors gave $117,989 to 27 projects.

UAB Giving Day is an online fundraising initiative that encourages alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, and friends to make a difference at UAB. This Giving Day had the most donors of any one day in UAB's history.

“Giving Day is about the UAB community—the schools, the units, the different groups on campus—coming together in an act of solidarity around the fact that philanthropy is very important to our campus culture,” says Angel Singleton, associate director of the UAB Office of Annual Giving. “The better we work together, the more we benefit as a whole.”

In addition to the highest number of donors in a day, there were other exciting highlights, such as an increase in student philanthropy.

A Rise in Student Giving

More students gave this year than ever before. Nine percent of gifts during the Giving Day 2018 campaign came from students, compared to 5 percent in 2017, thanks in large part to a project submitted by the UAB Honors College.

The Honors Class of 2018 Enrichment Award was developed by students of the Honors College Leadership Council as a gift from the Class of 2018. The goal was to raise funds for an award that will be presented in the fall to an Honors College student for an enrichment opportunity, such as study abroad, conference travel, or an internship. “These students wanted to be part of leaving behind something meaningful for the Honors College,” says Shannon Blanton, Ph.D., dean of the Honors College.

The success of the project can be attributed to the students garnering support, adds Blanton. “They were the ones pushing it to their peers, posting about it on social media, and working with Annual Giving. It says a lot about their experience with the Honors College and about wanting to give back. For them, it was about paying it forward for the opportunities they had been provided.”

Develop Through Play

The UAB Child Development Center wants to make improvements to its playground that will help kids develop large motor skills, such as running and throwing, and language and cognitive skills. By adding a table, chairs, planters, easels, art supplies, large blocks, balance beams, balls, and other equipment, the center will be able to do just that, says Theresa Wright, teacher and administrative staff for the Child Development Center.

The center presented these potential improvements as its first-ever Giving Day project and received an overwhelming response, Wright says. With 48 donors, the center raised $15,120. The project was the winner of the New Donor Challenge, which awards $500 to the campaign with the most first-time university donors. “These parents want to help,” Wright says. “We’re just so grateful.”

The ball will soon be rolling on purchasing the equipment, Wright adds. “It’s so critical for children in early learning to get these skills now.”

Health Professions

The UAB School of Health Professions not only attracted the most donors during the campaign with a total of 79, but it also won the Midday Donor Dash challenge and the Afternoon Dollar Challenge—both of which awarded $500 to projects with the most donors in a given time frame.

The school’s Academy for Addressing Health Disparities through Health Care Leadership helps underrepresented students prepare for graduate programs and careers in health care. The two-week program, developed in 2017, is dedicated to increasing the racial and ethnic diversity of students in graduate-level health-care management education and leadership.

"The project was chosen for 2018 Giving Day because it reaches across all areas of what makes up our very diverse School of Health Professions,” says Katie Adams, senior development director for the school. “Even though the academy is housed in our Department of Health Services Administration, which is one of five departments in the School of Health Professions, all health-related fields are interested in a more diverse and representative workforce. These students will go on to be the leaders of health-care organizations in Alabama, the nation, and beyond. All of our graduates will be affected positively by a more diverse management workforce.”

Thank you

We would like to thank all of our donors — students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of UAB — who joined us in fanning the flame on Giving Day 2018. Your Blazer spirit and generosity are opening doors for the future.

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