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Campus & Community

Get in the Giving Spirit

Three Campus Groups Show the Difference Today’s Fundraising Marathon Can Make

By Annie Krakower

Gamer Symphony Orchestra performs; trumpet players from the Mighty Sound of Maryland play on the field; UMD's hockey club team on the ice

The Gamer Symphony Orchestra, Mighty Sound of Maryland and men’s ice hockey club are just a few of the campus groups to benefit from 2022’s record-breaking Giving Day. Donors can choose to support more than 500 causes during today’s fundraising marathon.

Photos courtesy of organizations

This past year, the Mighty Sound of Maryland marched to the beat of new drums, the men’s ice hockey club skated to record success, and the first collegiate ensemble dedicated to video game music crescendoed to pitch-perfect performances.

They’re just a few of the campus groups to benefit from 2022’s record-breaking Giving Day, and today’s 24-hour fundraising marathon offers more than 500 ways for donors to raise the bar once again at the University of Maryland.

From midnight to 11:59 p.m., the 10th annual Giving Day rallies faculty, staff, students, alums, parents and friends to support their favorite schools, colleges, student groups and other campus initiatives.

“One of the really exciting things about Giving Day is the collective impact that it has,” said Diana S. Forbus, annual giving manager. “(It’s) really an opportunity for all of us to come together and make a gift of any size that could still add up to a lot.”

Friendly competitions throughout the day, including 50-plus challenges and matches, offer prizes to keep the giving going, with more than $30,000 up for grabs. For the first time, gifts made through Venmo and PayPal will be accepted, along with credit cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Last year, the fundraising extravaganza brought in an impressive $3,753,152 from 8,875 donors. Three Terp groups shared more about the difference that kind of success can make:

Mighty Sound of Maryland
If you’ve enjoyed the spirited beats of UMD’s drumline at a Terps game this year, you have Giving Day donors to thank.

The marching band raised $31,913 from 237 donors last year, enough to replace its 30-year-old set of drums—bass, tenor and snare, plus stands—and buy new mellophones, trombones and saxophones. The funding also helped repair the band’s well-used tubas.

“They sound so much better. They look great. It just gives students a sense of pride that they’re playing on good equipment,” said Andrea Brown, associate director of bands.

Students and the tight-knit alum community make the most of each Giving Day, creating social media graphics and pouncing on the challenges. The band is hoping for more mighty results this year, with an eye on replacing the patched-up tubas with new ones.

“Folks in the Maryland community really get to enjoy what the athletic bands bring to campus,” Brown said. “It goes well beyond sporting events.”

Men’s Ice Hockey Club
UMD’s men’s ice hockey club last year set records for single-season wins and individual points. A Giving Day boost helped it score big.

The team raised $10,035 from 36 donors in 2022, with money going toward renting ice time at the Bowie Ice Arena—which can cost $300-$400 per hour—as well as getting a bus for away games. A push from members of the 1992 squad, who were celebrating the milestone anniversary of their victory at the annual Crab Pot Tournament in Annapolis, was key to the effort.

“Our main goal is to lower costs for players and lower the barrier of entry to hockey, because it is a very expensive sport,” said Jetson Ku ’23, the team’s treasurer. “We don’t want to exclude anyone. Really, anything can help.”

Hockey’s fundraising success was part of a club sports fundraising surge, with the equestrian ($7,526 from 120 donors), baseball ($7,657 from 72 donors) and running ($3,016 from 69 donors) teams also excelling last year.

Gamer Symphony Orchestra
The Gamer Symphony Orchestra—which aims to bring the melodies found in gaming favorites like “Super Mario,” “Final Fantasy” and “The Legend of Zelda” from the screen to the stage—leveled up last year with the help of $5,324 raised from 77 donors.

“It’s not glamorous, but paying for the space for the orchestra to practice every week has been really crucial to allowing us to then perform to best of our abilities,” said Quinn Dang ’22, M.S. ’23, the club’s fundraising director. “We received feedback that this is the best the orchestra has sounded ever, which is so amazing.”

Current members and alums spread the word to their families and friends on Discord and other social media to surpass the $5,000 mark—a number the club is hoping to beat this year, with upcoming concerts on April 16 and May 14.

“There’s so much that being at the University of Maryland allows students to do, whether it’s something like performing in an orchestra that plays only video game music or being on air as a member of our radio station. The kind of opportunities here are unparalleled,” Dang said. “Being able to get that funding through Giving Day is a really helpful and crucial part.”

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