Day of Giving 2021 is in the books now at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, and it shattered its goals.
"I am so happy with all the opportunities this success means for our students," said Jasmine Smith, assistant director of annual giving. "We have funded opportunities for leadership, scholarship, hands-on learning, and success in the face of challenges."
The Day of Giving goal was $42,500. Through the support of 549 donors, the total given was $90,990.
"Every year, we celebrate our beloved mascot Numa's April 28 birthday. Well, this is his best birthday ever!" said Smith, who spearheaded Day of Giving 2021.
Of those who gave on April 28, 200 were new donors to UAFS. More than 100 volunteers acted as fundraisers for special initiatives. There were 639 unique transactions in support of the effort.
"A Day of Giving and crowdfunding more broadly allow us to cast a wide net among our alumni and friends," said Blake Rickman, vice-chancellor of Advancement at UAFS. "Events like this produce high-visibility opportunities for us to engage numerous first-time donors in support of a variety of campus needs. I'm grateful for everyone on campus and off who helped to make our goal a reality, and I am proud of the stellar work Jasmine did."
The Day of Giving put a spotlight on initiatives to benefit students.
The Alumni Legacy Scholarship. This scholarship supports students who are the children, siblings, and spouses of alumni of UAFS, Fort Smith Junior College, and Westark. Goal: $4,000. Raised: $11,241.15. Donors: 83.
Geosciences. The Geosciences program sought students to detect and measure microplastics in the Arkansas River and present their findings at a national conference. Goal: $2,500. Raised: $1,645. Donors: 40.
Lions Baseball. Funds raised will go toward the renovation of Crowder Field, uniforms, and travel expenses for this dynamic UAFS NCAA Division 2 team. Goal: $20,000. Raised: $15,335. Donors: 92.
The Student Emergency Assistance Program. SEAP provides one-time assistance to students facing financial emergencies. The program's goal is to ensure that an unexpected cost like a car repair or illness does not delay or derail a student's progress toward a degree. Goal: $6,450. Raised: $5,000. Donors: 88.
The Student Life Office. The Student Life Office fosters leadership through service among UAFS students. Day of Giving funds will be used to help students attend leadership conferences and workshops. Goal: $10,000. Raised: $3,961.98. Donors: 118.
UAFS Area of Greatest Need. Gifts to the areas of greatest need empower the university's senior leadership to address its most critical priorities and react quickly to unanticipated challenges. Goal: $500. Raised: $745. Donors: 17.
UAFS General Scholarship Fund. General scholarship funds provide support to students of all backgrounds. They may support students based on need or merit, in any major, from traditional or nontraditional backgrounds. The flexible scholarship fund gives the university the ability to adapt to students' changing needs. Goal: $500. Raised: $1,100. Donors: 20.
"If you're keeping count, you can see many of our initiatives hit their targets, and we more than doubled our total goal!" Smith said. "Our fundraisers, ambassadors, and community members raised more than $47,515 as individual fundraisers, and some large gifts helped us rocket past our goal for the day.
"The Day of Giving was so much fun and created so much buzz and offers so many good things to our students that we are already writing it on our calendars for next year!" she said.