More people than ever participated to make it happen during Northeast Ohio Medical University’s sixth annual Giving Day. This year, a total of 287 donors, representing a 39 percent increase since last year, made a gift to the Blue Fund – NEOMED’s annual fund – during an exciting 24 hours of giving.
Huntington Bank generously matched each unique donor with a gift of $120, helping NEOMED raise more than $112,000 in 24 hours. The original Huntington challenge was for 300 donors. The University didn’t quite reach that number, but Huntington gave the full $36,000 regardless.
The significance of Giving Day doesn’t end with gifts to the annual fund. The rising number of donors is critical, since Giving Day helps to realize increased engagement from supporters, many of whom become regular contributors to NEOMED programs and events.
Alumni, employees, students, friends, NEOMED Foundation Board and University trustees participated this year.
Cornhole games and food for sale from seven student organizations (the Checkered Whale Club, Walking Whale Barbell Club, APhA-ASP, I Love Ice Cream Club, Sports Medicine, Phi Lambda Sigma, Fan Club and Bioethics Club) got the 24-hour push started at noon Wednesday, March 6, in the atrium outside Watanakunakorn Auditorium.
Faculty and staff members Kwangwon Lee, Ph.D.; Harmony Stanger; Chris Vinyard, Ph.D.; and Jesse Young, Ph.D., pitched in by offering themselves up to be “pied” with plates of whipped cream to raise awareness of the event. If you dropped by the atrium through the day, you could track the progress by watching puzzle pieces (each with the latest donor’s name) being added, piece by piece.
Wednesday night, six student callers operated a phone bank to solicit donations – and each made a gift of their own.
The 24-hours-of-giving period ended at 11:59 a.m. Thursday.
GRATEFUL FOR SUPPORT
Craig Eynon, director of alumni relations and annual giving in the Office of Alumni Relations, said he was grateful to all who participated, including two alumni board members who set their own donor challenges to encourage people to give.
Eynon thanked the many departments who reached 100 percent participation this year.
“Each year, we make progress in building a culture of giving at NEOMED. That’s so important, because the significance of Giving Day goes far beyond the annual fund,” said Eynon. “It helps us to make all things possible, from increasing financial support of students to establishing events with prospective donors who get to meet our nationally renowned researchers.”