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Campus & Community

Hashtag Your Way Through Giving Day

Donation Marathon Aims for Participation, With Prizes, Pics and Contests

By Carly Taylor ’19

Flat Testudo Giving Day

Photos by John T. Consoli

Faculty, students and staff pose with Flat Testudo on Giving Day 2018.

Maybe you saw Testudo pressed between the pages of The Diamondback. Or peeking from the sides of your friends’ Instagram pics. Today, the university mascot—the flat and live versions—will be touring the campus to encourage participation in the 24-hour fundraising marathon known as Giving Day.

The sixth annual event running from midnight to midnight encourages faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents and fans to make a gift of any size for student scholarships, academic programs and campus initiatives.

“In these 24 hours, each of us can do something special for our community,” President Wallace D. Loh said. “Every single gift, regardless of the amount, to a unit, activity or group on campus that holds special meaning for you, matters. Together, we can make a big difference.”

Prizes will be awarded throughout the day for different challenges both on and off campus, such as units with the most donors; random office photos with the #givingdayumd hashtag; a fill-in-the blank contest on Facebook: “___ should receive extra $ today for #GivingDayUMD;” and social media selfies with Flat Testudo. (Find the 3-D Testudo cruising in a golf cart around the Stamp between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to get a selfie.)

Across campus, donors have also stepped forward in advance to match gifts dollar for dollar, including the Clarvit family, which is encouraging gifts from students, recent graduates and first-time alumni donors. The family is also matching gifts for emergency scholarships. Donors can also double the impact of their gifts by supporting the Clark Challenge for the Maryland Promise, which aims to make college more accessible and affordable.

More than half of UMD students rely on scholarships to fund their education, which makes donations essential in easing financial burdens and funding scientific breakthroughs, in addition to supporting the development and expansion of departments and programs.

Last year, UMD raised a record of $1,254,906 from 7,756 gifts. At the end of the 24-hour challenge, the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences topped the leaderboard with $299,433. Since the first Giving Day in 2013, the community has raised nearly $4.5 million from over 20,000 gifts.

What will you support? Share on social media with the hashtag #GIVINGDAYUMD. For more on how to participate or to follow the leaderboards throughout the day, visit

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