December 2017, News & Features

Giving Tuesday is a major success

Saint Augustine’s University’s raised $13,419.79 in its first Giving Tuesday event – almost three times what university planners expected.

The event was a “great success,” said Dr. Steven Hairston, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Chief Operating Officer.

“This was our initial year trying this concept,” Dr. Hairston said on Wednesday, Nov. 29, the day after the event. “We set a conservative goal of $5,000 for the day. … This level of giving reinforces the idea that our alumni and stakeholders care a lot about the financial sustainability of the university.”

Free shirts were among the incentives to donate on Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday was an event held by many different organizations and institutions around the country, including Saint Augustine’s University. SAU publicized the event continually in an effort to motivate the SAU community to take a day to donate.

Dr. Hairston credited Ms. Candice Murray, the university’s development coordinator for the day’s success. “Ms. Murray first brought the concept to our team three years ago and she helped us to work through the internet and website challenges as well as some internal staff apprehension. She stayed with the project, built a great case for support that was articulated by our students in an internet video and a TV commercial and the results stand for themselves. She is a great up and coming leader in the national fundraising scene.”

The success of Giving Tuesday comes on top of an annual campaign that raised more than $2 million, well above the goal.

Dr. Hairston said the success of Giving Tuesday opens up fundraising options. “The success of this initiative shows that staff of Institutional Advancement don’t have to rely on bricks and mortar, pen and paper fundraising,” he said. “We can successfully embrace new models and best practices in fundraising events that our sister schools implement.”

He added: “We have moved the needle on fund-raising.”

— Staff reports