Day of Giving event to raise Foundation funds

By Kierra Frazier

DeKALB — The NIU Foundation is hoping to raise $250,000 from 1,000 people with the first Day of Giving event, in which donors will grant money to help support students, scholarships and programs at the university.

The giving will run for 1,895 minutes — after NIU’s founding year, 1895 — and begins at 4:25 p.m. Tuesday and ends at midnight Thursday. Anyone can make a donation online at the NIU Day of Giving website during these times.

Giving days are 24-hour “digital pep rallies” intended to increase donor participation while encouraging school pride, according to a Day of Giving slideshow provided at the April 24 Faculty Senate meeting.

Donors will have the opportunity to give a gift to a part of campus they feel most passionate about. Donors can make gifts to any of the seven NIU colleges listed, student scholarships, the University Honors Program, the Huskie Food Pantry, the University Libraries and more. These gifts could provide research opportunities, unique out-of-class experiences, access to world-class faculty and much-needed scholarship support, according to the NIU Day of Giving website.

Michael Adzovic, director of the Northern Fund, said many universities host a Day of Giving event.

“It’s become really popular as a way to increase giving and donate to an organization,” Adzovic said. “We’re currently encouraging not just NIU alumni but also NIU students to give especially toward the Huskie Food Pantry.”

Universities such as Illinois State University raised over $625,000 from 1,700 gifts, and Southern Illinois University raised around $910,000 from over 2,950 gifts, according to the slideshow.

Adzovic said during the Day of Giving there will be mobile stations in the Founders Memorial Library, New Hall Residence, Stevenson Towers and Neptune Hall. The mobile stations will give students an opportunity to learn more about the event and potentially give a gift.

30 of the “most generous donors,” who may be alumni or faculty, have created matching donation challenges to give back to an area of their choosing. These challenges may be unlocked when a certain amount of money has been raised by donors or a certain amount of donors have donated.

The highest challenge comes from Chris Millington, Operations Management and Information Systems Board chair, and Board Vice Chair Amit Patel. They plan to match any donation — dollar-for-dollar up to $150,000 — toward a new Center for Digital Innovation and Data Analytics.

Adzovic said having the event primarily online will attract younger donors due to popular online transaction apps. He said the event has also been promoted through social media and email to attract younger donors.

The NIU Foundation is looking for 100 ambassadors to promote the Day of Giving both before and during the event. Ambassadors can be alumni, faculty, staff, students, retirees or friends, according to the slideshow.

Adzovic said if the Day of Giving turns out to be a success, the NIU Foundation will make it a tradition.

“The main reason why we’re doing it is for the students,” Adzovic said. “This is a chance for the NIU community to invest and help make sure we improve and strengthen our school.”