The NIU Foundation surpassed its $250,000 goal for the first Day of Giving event by raising over $770,600 from 1,402 donors nationwide.
The money was raised with donations to the NIU Day of Giving website by alumni, faculty and students. The donations support students, scholarships and programs at the university.
“[The Day of Giving] just shows how much the community cares about NIU, and I’m very proud to be a part of it,” Adzovic said.
The College of Business raked in over $175,000, making it the recipient to raise the most money. The recipient who received the most donations or gifts was a combination of student scholarships — in total, they raised 355 gifts.
Michael Adzovic, director of the Northern Fund, said promoting the event on social media played a role in the event's results. For the first time, texts were sent to over 20,000 alumni notifying them information on the event, he said.
Adzovic said NIU community collaboration across campus contributed to the event's success.
“All of those different pockets of our campus work together to fire up their networks and get the word out," he said.
Adzovic said another reason for the event’s success were the challenges and matching opportunities. Matching donations were unlocked once a recipient reached a certain amount of money or a certain amount of donors.
Challenges such as the Scott Launch Challenge unlocked $100,000 for student scholarships from Dr. Tom Scott, who graduated in 1975. The College of Business Center for Digital Innovations and Data Analytics Match also unlocked $150,000 from OM&IS Board Chair Chris Millington and OM&IS Board Vice Chair Amit Patel to support the new center.
Adzovic said scheduling the event before finals week next year may increase student turnout. He said around 50 students participated — 3.5% of donors. He considers that a success because the university has never engaged students through events in this way. He said planning to hold the event at the end of March or early May might increase the number of student donors.
Day of Giving Ambassadors shared promotional messages online before and during the event. Better training next year could provide an opportunity to increase giving, Adzovic said.
“We had about 140 ambassadors,” Adzovic said. “If ambassadors were trained how to track how much money they’re raising and how many clicks they’re getting, we could’ve maybe seen even more money.”