As Terps across campus tackle society’s grand challenges—the COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice, food insecurity and more—today’s eighth annual Giving Day gives them a better chance to launch their fearless ideas.

From midnight to 11:59 p.m., the University of Maryland’s 24-hour fundraising marathon encourages faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents and friends to contribute to scholarships, academic programs and other campus initiatives that foster student success. Donors can pledge their support to more than 500 areas on campus, ranging from the Student Crisis Fund and Campus Pantry, which provide emergency financial assistance and food to Terps in need, to the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Education Gift Fund, which enhances the academic experience of underrepresented student populations.

“Giving Day is an incredible opportunity that supports all areas of campus,” said university President Darryll J. Pines. “The support from our faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors and so many others during this challenging time will have a lasting impact on the student experience. Every gift we receive will help us advance our mission with excellence.”

Leading up to the effort, UMD sent out postcards with Testudo decals and stickers to community members and past donors, encouraging recipients snap a picture with the mascot and post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. (Check out the rolling tag board for a slew of supportive selfies and messages.) The photos are part of Giving Day’s social media challenges, which offer tagged units prizes such as $200 for five winners showcasing UMD gear (on themselves or their pets), or $100 for 10 randomly selected posts that include the #Igave and #UMDGivingDay hashtags.

Other prizes in 12 categories reward the units with the most alumni, faculty and staff, student, and parent donors during specified hours, as well as three $500 awards for the top overall personal fundraisers from midnight to 11 p.m. 

To drum up even more motivation to give, several longtime Terp donors including the Clarvit and Schwab families have committed to match gifts dollar for dollar or provide challenge grants during windows of time throughout the day. Donations to the Clark Challenge for the Maryland Promise, which provides need-based scholarships to promising Maryland and D.C. undergrads, will also be matched.

The goal for this year’s daylong event is to improve on 2020’s totals of 7,299 donors giving more than $1.6 million. Since its launch in 2013, UMD’s Giving Day has raised over $8 million.

“Giving Day is something where all Terps come together,” Executive Director of Annual Giving Brian Logue said. “It’s not just big gifts—it’s small gifts, and they all add up. It’s rallying together to make Maryland better.”