Celebrate Growing Western Oregon University on Giving Day

Wolfie with a sign about Giving Day

Question: How do you raise $100,000 in 24 hours to benefit Western Oregon University students and programs?

Answer: Enlist the power of a pack of WOU alumni, friends, students and employees to participate in Giving Day today.

Annual Giving Coordinator Emily Swart said Giving Day is an annual event with the goal to create a financial foundation for WOU.

“What I enjoy about Giving Day is seeing everyone work together to grow WOU, and that this is truly a community endeavor,” Swart said. “No matter the size, every gift helps to plant a seed for the future of our students and the university.”

Giving Day poster
Every dollar donated on Giving Day supports students at Western Oregon University.

The March 3 goal is to raise $100,000 – the largest yet. Last year, Giving Day raised almost $70,000. The WOU Foundation will host activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Werner University Center plaza. Swart encourages people to stop by to ask questions, donate or enjoy refreshments.

“I am confident we can raise $100,000 because I know how much people care about growing our university and fostering our students’ success,” Swart said. “We are encouraging people to make an unrestricted and tax-deductible gift that could be used to defray the cost of students’ tuition and expenses, underwrite budgets for student organizations, fund faculty research and more.”

The magic of Giving Day is there is a way for everyone to make a difference. Whether it’s the students calling alumni and friends or donors sponsoring a challenge or match, Giving Day is truly about the people working together to grow WOU, Swart said.

Instagram fans can help to raise $1,000 by following WOU on Instagram at @wounews. WOU Foundation Executive Director Erin McDonough and WOU Softball Coach Lonny Sargent together will give $1 for new @wounews Instagram followers on Giving Day, up to $1,000.

“There are many fun ways to grow and even double your donation on Giving Day,” McDonough said. “I am thankful to the donors including parents, alumni and foundation and governance board members who have created matches and challenges to help us reach our goal.”

Donors can get their social media circle involved in WOU’s Giving Day by participating in the Givalanche Challenge.

“Givalanche tells your social media network you donated to WOU and encourages them to make a donation,” Swart said. “The donor with the highest number of donors to their Givalanche wins $100 to the WOU bookstore.”

Other challenges and matches include the WOU Foundation’s goal to get a gift from every state, and the WOU Alumni Board members will increase the first 24 gifts of any size by their own graduation year amount.

Both Swart and McDonough are grateful for the enthusiasm they have witnessed by employees, alumni, students and community members leading up to Giving Day.

“I believe the success of Giving Day extends beyond how much we raise for the university,” McDonough said. “The true testament of Giving Day is that our community has embraced another opportunity to work together to grow our university and our students.”

Make a donation at WOU’s Giving page or learn more by contacting Emily Swart, fundforwou@wou.edu or call 503-838-8814

Flowers by Campbell Hall
Let’s Grow WOU by supporting Western Oregon University’s Giving Day.

Some of the Giving Day challenges and matches: (Complete list on WOU’s Giving page)

  • Alumni Happy Hour Challenge: Between 4 and 7 p.m., members of the Alumni Board will personally increase the first 24 gifts of any size to the Fund for WOU by their own graduation year amount.
  • Every State Challenge: The WOU Foundation needs your help as they attempt to get a gift from every U.S. state. Look for updates throughout the day on WOU’s Facebook and Instagram.
  • Finance and Planned Giving Challenge: From 8 a.m. to noon on March 3, members of the committee will personally increase the first 60 gifts designated to the Fund for WOU of at least $34.50 by an additional $34.50.
  • 100 Payroll Deduction Challenge: We currently have 70 employees who donate to WOU through payroll deduction. Three generous WOU Foundation Board members will provide lunch for all employees who contribute through payroll deduction if we can increase that number to 100 on March 3!
  • Parent Match: WOU Parent Michele Haberlach will match any gift from a parent of a WOU student or alum to the Fund for WOU up to $2,000.

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