More than $130,000 in challenges and matches are waiting to be unlocked on Mary Wash Giving Day, Tuesday, April 13. With a goal of 3,000 gifts in 24 hours to benefit students and programs across the University of Mary Washington, the emphasis on participation is reflected in this year’s theme of #AllTogetherUMW.
Several of the University’s most loyal supporters have committed to double (and sometimes triple) gifts made on April 13 at givingday.umw.edu. With a $5 gift minimum, all who love Mary Washington are asked to help unlock additional challenge amounts by meeting participation benchmarks throughout the day:
- 540 gifts (a nod to Fredericksburg’s area code) by 9 a.m. will unlock $1,540 from Jay Sinha ’07 and Miriam McCue ’16
- 1,000 gifts by noon will unlock $3,000 from Susan Leavitt ’83
- 1,908 gifts (paying homage to UMW’s founding year) by 5 p.m. will unlock $5,000 from Mary Louise Holmes ’97
- 3,000 gifts by 11:59 p.m. will unlock $9,000 from Robert Strassheim ’96 and Sarah Gildersleeve Strassheim ’01.
More than 200 Giving Day ambassadors – alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents and friends of UMW – have signed on to help spread the word on social media. Their enthusiasm is a key ingredient in the day’s success; data from past Giving Days shows that each social post by an ambassador inspires three additional gifts. Anyone can sign up online as an ambassador (and receive a digital toolkit and unique referral link).
The Alumni Association is including furry friends in the Giving Day excitement by providing free pet bandannas to alumni. All were scooped up quickly through an online request form, and those who received the bandannas are asked to tag photos of their four-legged family members with #MaryWashDay and #UMWAlumni on April 13.
UMW Director of Annual Giving Shelby Orlando ’14 calls Giving Day “a highlight of [her] year.” She marvels at the spirit with which the UMW community has embraced the event since its start in 2017.
“Giving Day is about so much more than fundraising,” she said. “It always has a celebratory feel, with alumni and friends taking to social media to share the reasons we love Mary Washington and encouraging others to join us in giving back.”
As student need grows and UMW adapts to a rapidly changing world, Giving Day gifts are more valuable than ever. On the Mary Wash Giving Day website, on April 13, donors will be able to support the Fund for Mary Washington, academics, arts and cultural programs, student life, diversity and inclusion, scholarships, campus preservation, and other areas across the University.
Members of the UMW community near and far are asked to help reach the 3,000-gift goal by sharing the Giving Day website and tagging their posts with #AllTogetherUMW and #MaryWashDay.