Pitt Day of Giving: The Inside Line

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University of Pittsburgh Director of Annual Programs Sean Dean has been extremely busy this month getting ready for the second annual Pitt Day of Giving. However, he was able to find a moment to answer a few questions for our Chancellor's Circle donors about the day affectionately known as “PDoG”.

What is Pitt Day of Giving?

Pitt Day of Giving is a 24-hour online fundraising event held annually on February 28 to commemorate the University’s founding in 1787. PDoG allows alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents, and friends from around the world to share their Pitt pride while supporting the next generation of students.

Just how successful was last year’s inaugural Pitt Day of Giving?

It was very successful! We raised $5.77 million from more than 3,400 donors. Additionally, PDoG really galvanized the entire Pitt community, which was apparent by the huge buzz on social media. We achieved 2.75 million social media impressions and became the number one trending topic in Pittsburgh! 

Give me a glimpse of what it was like inside the “war room” where you and the PDoG team gathered in 2017.  

EXCITING. Throughout the day there were 8-10 people feverishly working on laptops and answering phones. We honestly didn’t know what to expect, so to experience the success as it built throughout the day was exhilarating. Especially when we eclipsed two special landmarks—$1.787 million raised and 1,787 gifts contributed. By 5 p.m. we were already exhausted, but the excitement of seeing the numbers continue to rise pulled the team through to the finish line at midnight.

How has Pitt used the $5.77 million raised from last year?

Money raised from last year’s event supported numerous areas of need. Donors were able to direct their gifts to those places that meant the most to them, including the Pitt Fund, which supports the University’s greatest needs. We tracked the areas that received the most gifts on leaderboards, which created a sense of competition among donors. Schools and colleges, student orgs, and other entities were all vying for the top spots to get challenge money. It really kept things riveting.

What do you have in store for the 2018 Pitt Day of Giving?

We’d certainly like to raise more than $6 million this year! Perhaps more importantly, we want to increase the number of donors to the University through this event. We’d also like to surpass the 3 million social media impressions threshold. We’ll have other challenges and competitions to get everyone involved. Please check the website, www.pittdayofgiving.com, on February 28 to keep track of the action!

Why should I make my gift during the Pitt Day of Giving vs. any other day?

Great question! You can make your gift to Pitt on ANY day. We’ve set aside this historic day—this year marks the 231st anniversary of Pitt’s founding—to focus on the University’s incredible legacy and to highlight the impact that your gifts continue to make. During these 24 hours, the world will be watching, so it’s a great opportunity for us all to come together and demonstrate our Pitt pride while we invest in the next generation of Pitt students.

How can I give?

Visit our website to make your online gift, or call 1-800-817-8943 and we will be happy to take your gift over the phone. You can also contact James Malezi of the Medical and Health Sciences Foundation or me via e-mail: dayofgiving@pitt.edu.

Other than making a donation, what can I do to help make PDoG a success?

Tell others about the big day, February 28, 2018. Become a social media ambassador and spread the word about Pitt Day of Giving via your personal and professional networks. You can sign up at www.pittdayofgiving.com.