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Get in the Spirit on a Global (Tues)Day of Giving

UMD’s Push This Year Includes New Student Fundraising Challenge

By Annie Krakower

The M on UMD's campus

This Giving Tuesday, donors can give to 27 crowdfunding projects from units across UMD’s campus, as well as eight student-led initiatives.

Photo by John T. Consoli

If you’re recovering from a shopping hangover following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, today might offer a cure—one with a Terp twist.

Giving Tuesday, a global movement held after Thanksgiving, has rolled out at the University of Maryland with 27 crowdfunding projects from units across campus, along with a new challenge for eight student-led initiatives.

Amping up the holiday giving spirit, student groups with at least 100 unique donors during the event will earn an extra $500, and the group with the most donors at the end of the day wins an additional $250.

“This year, we thought that it’d be a good idea to allow students to benefit from the momentum during Giving Tuesday,” said Araba Samassekou, annual giving manager. “We’ve been very successful doing this particular challenge on Giving Day (in the spring)—why not give them the opportunity to do the same thing in the fall?”

Giving Tuesday, which began worldwide in 2012, last year raised $2.47 billion in the U.S., with UMD raising $200,000 from 1,030 donors across its Launch UMD site and the university giving page.

UMD hopes to top that this year, said Meredith Garfield ’04, annual giving manager. Some of the 27 unit projects promote diversity and inclusion, like the Nyumburu Cultural Center 50th anniversary project and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion fund; other initiatives support student scholarships, like the C.D. Mote, Jr. Incentive Awards Program and the Clark Challenge for the Maryland Promise; and dean’s funds buttress schools and colleges across campus.

And amid the ongoing pandemic, the Student Crisis Fund and Campus Pantry remain priorities, said Development Coordinator Stephanie Selzer.

This year’s eight student challenge participants range from a project helping Terps conduct health education workshops to one combating the dangers of binge drinking and another promoting creativity in STEM fields.

“For a lot of student organizations, you want to see something grow and succeed,” said materials science and engineering major Vincent Lan ’23, who founded the group Flower STEM during the pandemic. After painting murals over the summer at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in nearby Greenbelt, the organization hopes to use the momentum of the Giving Tuesday challenge to raise funds for more passion projects that combine artistry, science and technology. “It’s like, ‘Hey, you can put in $10, and if we get the extra $500, your 10 turns into 500.’”

UMD’s effort technically kicked off at 12:01 a.m. Monday and will extend to 11:59 p.m. Wednesday to allow time to secure last-minute gifts. Terps interested in contributing can browse the projects and donate online.

“(The day is about) bringing together the Terrapin Strong feeling throughout campus and supporting other Terps,” Garfield said. “That’s the main thing.”

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