By Jill Campbell
Walking into the Campus Union on Wednesday, Mar. 1, it was impossible not to feel the electricity in the air. Riffs on the electric guitar echoed through every inch of the building, the familiar “ping” of a call bell ringing a dozen times a minute, and a sea of forest green swirled about the room in the form of t-shirts worn by faculty and students. Pictures were taken. Memories were made.
The occasion? Giving Day.
Due to its immense success, it may be hard to believe that this was only the second year that the newfound Springfield College holiday has been official. Before Giving Day was created in the summer of 2015, it was the March Challenge that occupied the month of madness. The 31-day fundraiser always got the job done, but in order to keep things fresh and interesting, the idea needed a facelift. And with this in mind, Giving Day was born – a month-long event condensed into a 24-hour period.
This day-long fundraiser serves as a chance for members of the Springfield College global community to give back to students of the present and of the future. Donors can take pride in the fact that they are contributing to a place they care so much about, something that only furthers the sense of togetherness and community that Springfield is regarded so highly for. Donations are put towards the Springfield College Fund, Friends of East Campus, and Friends of Springfield College Athletics, all of which provide students with the resources necessary to succeed.
Giving Day 2017 surpassed all goals and expectations, and even topped last year’s numbers. The college brought in 248,723 dollars through 1,384 donors which was an immense amount of donations, even compared to last year’s 240,000 dollars through 1,291 donors.
However, it really wasn’t the dollar amount that the college was most concerned with, rather the intangible that is community. To follow this principle, the goal set was for the number of donors rather than a specific dollar amount.
Class of 1999 alum and Director of the Springfield College Fund Laraine Robison and her team have been working since August to make this Giving Day one to remember for all involved.
“It’s a reason for people to all come together for one Springfield College. It’s something totally different,” said Robison. “Yes, we’re raising money, but it all goes back to students. What’s better than that? It’s a feel-good thing.”
The event has been in the works for several months with the help of departments all over the Springfield campus, including the Office of Development, Alumni Relations, Marketing and Communications, and Student Activities. There was also a heavy amount of student involvement, from the Campus Activities Board to Phone-a-thon student employees.
Junior Katie Carson was one of many undergrads that spent her day in the Union providing a helping hand for all things Giving Day.
“Giving Day is special because people actually get excited about donating. It’s something people should feel good about, and I’m glad this day can provide that for them,” said Carson.
The message was able to reach more people than ever due to the utilization of social media, whether it was the Carpool Karaoke video with President Cooper, the specialized SnapChat filter, or the hashtag #MaroonGives.
And really, that’s what Giving Day is all about.
“This day isn’t solely about how many dollars we raise, but more about how many people we get,” said Robison. “It’s about the people and feeling good about what you’re doing.”