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March 8, 2018

More Than $9M Donated During 2nd Annual Pitt Day of Giving

The community of Pitt faculty, staff, alumni, students, parents and friends responded to this year’s Pitt Day of Giving by donating a record-setting $9,029,828, up from $5.7 million last year.

The 24-hour fundraising event, now in its second year, was held Feb. 28 and marks the University’s Founder’s Day. Gifts received during the campaign support scholarships, research, academic programs and student activities, among other initiatives.

“Our main goal was to engage the entire Pitt community and build awareness of how giving advances Pitt’s mission,” said Kris Davitt, vice chancellor for development and alumni relations and president of the Medical and Health Sciences Foundation.

By the time the last gift was recorded at midnight, commitments were made by 3,358 donors from all 50 states and 31 countries across six continents.

“The results prove Pitt’s impact is felt around the globe and that our community is incredibly supportive,” said Davitt.

Overall, 1,941 Pitt alumni made gifts to every school and college at the University, eclipsing last year’s total of 1,695 alumni donors.

Faculty, Staff Support Doubles Over Previous Year

Pitt faculty and staff also rose to the challenge of the day — 808 University employees each made a gift, more than doubling last year’s count of 371.

Davitt attributed the substantial increase in employee participation this year to collaborative efforts across campus to build awareness of the campaign: “I could not be more proud of the leadership and support of our deans, faculty and staff.”

She also noted that the Day of Giving website featured a donation progress bar that tracked gifts made by staff and faculty through the day. “We were able to build momentum that carried throughout the day,” said Davitt.

Friendly Challenges Push Campaign’s Reach

Other participation-based challenges sparked friendly competition among schools, Pitt programs and student organizations:

  • The School of Pharmacy won the School Participation competition to earn $30,000 in award money.
  • Pitt Human Engineering Research Lab brought home the top prize of $30,000 in the Pitt Programs and Experiences competition.
  • Pitt Men’s Glee Club earned $10,000 for winning the Student Organization competition by gathering twice as many gifts as any other group.

The enthusiastic participation was reflected in social media activity. The hashtag #PittDayOfGiving garnered 2.88 million impressions over the 24-hour fundraising event, making it the No. 1 trending hashtag in Pittsburgh throughout the day.

At 3:45 p.m. on Feb. 28, the goal of receiving a gift from six continents was reached. At 10:15 p.m., the goal of receiving gifts from all 50 states was achieved with the first of three donations from Hawaii. At 10:43 p.m., the goal of receiving gifts from 30 countries was met (eventually, 31 would be included).

“It really is an all-day celebration,” said Davitt. “It is so much fun to see the Pitt pride on display. It is clear Pitt Day of Giving has proven itself as a burgeoning tradition.”



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