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Giving Days 2024 breaks records

Wednesday, Mar. 20, and Thursday, Mar. 21, served as this year’s annual Giving Days, a global community-wide, 48-hour fundraiser for Monmouth. Overall, a total of 2,150 gifts raised a record $388,869 from countries such as Austria, Belgium, France, and New Zealand and domestically from 39 states. This event falls hand-in-hand with the Senior Giving Campaign, an effort to encourage seniors to donate to the University before they graduate.

Michaela Foley, a senior social work student, is the President of the Senior Class of 2024. “The purpose of the giving campaign is to promote to seniors the importance of giving back, even after you have graduated,” she explained. “Monmouth is a private institution, which means it functions from its donors that give back. If you received a scholarship at any point in your four years at Monmouth, that is from a donation.”

The Senior Giving Campaign, in particular, is an initiative to encourage seniors to start their philanthropic journeys. Jessica Bisciotti, a senior communication student, is the Vice President of the 2024 Senior Class, explained the purpose for it: “The Senior Class Giving Campaign serves as an opportunity for graduating seniors to not only give back to Monmouth, but to learn more about why donations are important and how they impact the school. It is the perfect time to educate seniors about this initiative since they have spent the last 4 years building a connection with the school, but they’re still easily accessible as students. The hope is that seniors will form a relationship with the school as they see how their money is making a difference, and that they will continue to be involved as an alumna for years to come.”

Foley continued to emphasize the importance of donating by explaining where exactly the donated money goes. “When you donate to the Giving Campaign,” she began, “it goes directly towards the Access Fund which helps students with unmet financial needs. Through donating, you are helping more students afford to come to Monmouth.” Donors need not only give to the Access Fund, however. “Seniors are also able to designate their donation to an area of campus that means the most to them. This could include a club or organization, an athletic team, or an academic school. Donating to the Giving Campaign is a way to give back to an area that means the most to you and it could be your way of saying ‘thank you.’”

Bisciotti concurred with Foley about the crucial nature of donating to Monmouth. She said, “The campaign itself is such a crucial part of what makes Monmouth accessible. Donations default to the Access Fund if not directed to anywhere specific, and the Access Fund exists to provide scholarships to students with unmet financial need. While it may seem like a simple donation of $20.24, it can be the reason a student is able to choose Monmouth and join the Hawk family. As a private organization, many students may not have access to Monmouth and all its resources without the help of scholarships from generous donors like our senior class.”

Alumni Engagement Officer of the Department of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, Alanna McGlynn, works closely with the Senior Officers to assist them in navigating the Senior Giving Campaign. She said, “The Class Giving Campaign exists to help graduating students appreciate the vital need to raise private support for Monmouth University, while encouraging them to begin their participation as donors. Through each graduate’s gift, we can help ensure continued access to a personalized Monmouth education for current and future Hawks.”

McGlynn also explained that any senior who makes a donation of $20.24, in recognition of the seniors’ graduation year, is honored with a philanthropy cord to wear at the Commencement Ceremony. Students don’t have to donate, however, to make an impact. “Students have the ability to participate by making a personal contribution, or by volunteering as a Class Giving Ambassador,” McGlynn said. “We understand that not everyone feels comfortable making a gift, and that’s okay. We also welcome Ambassadors to help share our message about the importance of giving back, and how to do so.”

“I have a personal connection to the Senior Giving Campaign because I truly believe if I had not received the scholarships from donors that I did, I would not be where I am today,” said Foley. “I also would not have had all the amazing experiences that Monmouth has given me. Monmouth has provided me with so many opportunities that I will forever be grateful for. If donating to the Giving Campaign means that I can potentially help give someone the access to the same experience I had, then I will continue to donate even after I’ve graduated.”

Bisciotti shared a similar story. She said, “While I didn’t know it at the time, previous donors are part of what made it possible for me personally to attend Monmouth. I’ve been lucky enough to receive scholarships that have genuinely changed my life, and I will forever be grateful to the donors that made it possible for me to receive an education at a school as prestigious as Monmouth.”

McGlynn additionally highlighted the togetherness that is fostered through events such as Giving Days and the Senior Giving Campaign. “Community-wide events like Giving Days demonstrate the power we can harness when coming together to take collective action,” she explained. “When others see you—the social proof—sharing that you have donated and inviting others to join you, it raises awareness of the great work being done by Monmouth students, and the many ways you can help inspire the next generation of leaders.”

“I believe it is extremely important to donate to Monmouth because you have the potential to provide support to a student with unmet financial needs and help the next generation of students at Monmouth,” added Foley added.

“We hope this campaign highlights the connection between current students, alumni, and the greater Hawk family. And that participation inspires graduates to stay connected to Monmouth, and consider how they can give back in the future,” McGlynn concluded, “Afterall, you are a Hawk for life!”