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Campus & Community

How 10 Years of Giving Day Transformed UMD

24-Hour Fundraising Marathon Supports Units, Programs Across Campus

By Annie Krakower

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During Wednesday’s Giving Day, UMD’s 11th 24-hour fundraising marathon, donors can choose from 565 funds to show their support. Since the event began as Scholarship Day in 2013, it’s raised over $17 million.

Photos and animation by Stephanie S. Cordle; infographic by Valerie Morgan

Emergency funds for students during the pandemic. New equipment for club sports, including for a nationally ranked Terp fencer using a wheelchair. Hundreds of scholarships.

What started as a modest effort called Scholarship Day at the University of Maryland has grown into a juggernaut, raising $17 million in its first 10 years to support Terps.

Now known as Giving Day, the annual 24-hour philanthropy marathon returns on Wednesday and is again rallying students, faculty, staff, parents, alums and friends to support programs, units and initiatives across campus. After another record-breaking year in 2023, organizers hope to continue the trend in this 11th outing.

“Over time, we’ve really built up an awareness of what it is, how it works and what it accomplishes,” said Executive Director of Development Brian Logue, who remembers having a bare-bones promotional plan seeking support for 18 funds during the first Scholarship Day in 2013. (There was no event in 2015 as Giving Day moved from winter to spring.) “That’s a testament to everybody involved who does their part.”

From midnight to 11:59 p.m., donors can give to one or more of the 565 funds. More than 45 matches and challenges throughout the day encourage friendly philanthropic competition, with more than $700,000 up for grabs. The Clarvit family, for instance, is contributing $20,000 to match gifts by current students, and the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation and UMD will match gifts to the Clark Challenge for the Maryland Promise, which supports undergrads from underserved populations in Maryland and D.C.

“That’s one of the best pieces of the event—the energy and the commitment people feel during the day, and how excited they are about what we were able to achieve the day after,” Logue said.

Take a look at how Giving Day has grown—and benefited campus—over the past 10 years:

10 years of Giving Day: $17,241,559 raised. Total funds: 18 in 2013, 500+ in 2024. 42 full athletics scholarships funded. 756% increase in number of donors since 2013. 50 instruments repaired or replaced by the Mighty Sound of Maryland. 27,500 unique donors. Donors from all 50 states and 10+ countries
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