SFA hosted the University’s first annual Giving Day Sept. 16 and exceeded their initial goal of $100,000 with a final total of $103,514.02 raised. The Office of Development, which created the event, plans to continue Giving Day as a yearly tradition.
“Giving Day was something we were really excited to bring to SFA,” Annual Giving Assistant Emily McLemore said. “It was something that other universities have done for a few years now, and we were really excited to introduce that to our campus and make it ‘SFA’.”
While most of the funds were donated during the completely virtual campaign, some were donated Sept. 17 and 18 during Parents’ Weekend. Donors followed a link disbursed on social media and email platforms and chose from 28 organizations, colleges and funds on campus, which were organized into four categories: Academics, Athletics, Student and University Interests and Area of Greatest Need. If a donor desired to specify another recipient of their donation, an ‘Other’ option provided them with that choice.
“One of the cool things to see was how diverse the donations were because people have a lot of reasons that they care about SFA,” McLemore said. “You can definitely tell people love giving back to their academic colleges and what really impacted them on campus.”
This year’s Giving Day appealed to SFA’s historical roots in Nacogdoches. Mirroring the 1917 brochure Nacogdoches residents created with 23 reasons why SFA should move to their town, Giving Day presented a multimedia all-day campaign with 23 reasons to give to SFA.
“The history of Nacogdoches is very important to me as a personal interest, but when you look at the history and all of the things that have led SFA to be where it is and all of the students who have gotten here to be where they are, a lot of things had to fall into place,” McLemore said. “I think seeing something as fantastic as we have now to come out of that makes it really cool to be part of SFA’s legacy.”
The funds are distributed to donor-designated areas across campus. One of the key locations that donors funded was the Student Emergency Aid fund, which is a one-time fund providing financial relief for students experiencing unforeseen financial difficulties. As of Oct. 12, the Student Emergency Aid Fund has reached 62% of their desired $100,000 goal.
“This too shall pass... Hang in there Jacks!” said an anonymous Student Emergency Aid fund donor from February.
The Office of Development worked with the Alumni Association, the Athletics department, and various students and faculty to present this Giving Day.
“The one thing I always encourage people to think about, in terms of giving back to SFA, is that we all give back to SFA in all kinds of different ways,” McLemore said. “For some of us, it’s work we do on campus. For some of us, it’s going to classes. For some of us it’s donating five dollars, and for some people it is those big gifts. There’s a lot of room to give back to SFA, and it’s not always what everybody thinks of when they think of a ‘donor’.”