The University of Mississippi’s second annual Giving Day, set March 30-31, will reach donors with a grassroots social media campaign.
The online crowdfunding campaign launches at 9 a.m. on March 30 and lasts 1 day, 8 hours and 48 minutes in honor of the university’s founding year of 1848.
But for many UM supporters, Giving Day starts now. Hundreds of alumni, friends, students and faculty are encouraged to become ambassadors for the campaign and use their personal and professional networks to spread the word about the UM programs and projects they care about most.
Maura Langhart, director of Annual Giving, said the event’s primary goal is to encourage philanthropy among everyone associated with the university, of all ages, interests and giving levels.
“Giving Day is a chance to rally around the university you love and match your passions and interests with the many needs on campus,” Langhart said.
“The theme for our 2020 Giving Day is ‘Better Together.’ People may feel like one person can’t have an impact on Ole Miss, but when we all join together at the same time, we can accomplish amazing things for the university.”
Giving Day ambassadors play a key role by spreading excitement and encouraging competition. They help cultivate an atmosphere of celebration around the day. After signing up at https://givingday.olemiss.edu, ambassadors download a social media toolkit of graphics they can post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Ambassadors are also encouraged to post their own photos, videos or other content with the campaign link and the hashtag #OleMissGivingDay.
Ambassadors use a custom referral link that enables them to track the number of people in their network who contribute on Giving Day. During the event, ambassadors can compete to attract the most donors or most dollars.
Last year’s inaugural Giving Day raised more than $544,000 from over 1,000 donors, about 250 of whom had never made a gift to the university.
Vice Chancellor for Development Charlotte Parks said, “Giving Day 2020 will build upon 2019’s success and participation. We launched this initiative last year and were so encouraged by the overwhelming support.
“Pledged contributions for this year’s event have already surpassed last year. People are very excited to join in. We are deeply grateful to our alumni and friends for their support.”
Parks described private support for Ole Miss as crucial, since only about 12.2 percent of UM’s operating revenues come from state funds.
“The university has bold initiatives we want to accomplish, but it will take the whole community to partner with us to fund resources for scholarships, faculty support, technology, facilities and service opportunities,” she said.
For more information about Giving Day or to sign up to be an ambassador, visit https://givingday.olemiss.edu. Supporters can also participate in Giving Day before it begins by contacting UM’s Annual Giving Office at (662) 915-2760 or emailing email@example.com.
By Angela Atkins