Pitt Sets Single-Day Record with Gifts from 6,346 Donors

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In an inspiring show of support for the University of Pittsburgh, 6,346 alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents, and friends made gifts to the University on the third annual Pitt Day of Giving, Thursday, Feb 28, 2019. The largest single-day outpouring of support for Pitt included gifts to every school, college, and campus and from all 50 states and 17 countries.

“This whole effort is about community and giving. When that comes together on one day, it’s simply amazing,” said Kris Davitt, Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations, President of the Medical and Health Sciences Foundation. “Having all of these individuals engage like this is a great source of strength for the University.”

The day got off to a great start, meeting its first challenge by receiving its 1787th gift—symbolic of the year the University was founded—at 8:30 a.m. By making the 1787th gift­­, Ana Allegretti (SHRS G ’04, PhD ’08) earned the opportunity to allocate $500 in challenge funds. She chose the Human Engineering Research Laboratories. It was just the first of 12 challenges that were met throughout the day.

By 4:03 p.m. Pitt Day of Giving met its goal of 4,000 unique donors. Among them was Maura Williams (A&S ’93) who tweeted, “It's #PittDayofGiving and I just donated to the General Scholarship Fund. This much needed tuition assistance ensures racial, ethnic, and geographic diversity by making Pitt more affordable to all students. Giving back because Pitt gave to me! #H2P”

That was just one of the hundreds of social media posts Thursday using #PittDayOfGiving. The hashtag garnered more than three million impressions over the 24-hour fundraising event, making it the number one trending tag in Pittsburgh by 9:00 a.m. and remained near the top throughout the day.

Pitt Day of Giving moved beyond the virtual world this year by holding an on-campus celebration in the William Pitt Union. During the event, almost 2,000 students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends mingled with Athletic Director Heather Lyke, several coaches, Roc the panther, and senior administration; including Provost Ann Cudd and Chancellor Patrick Gallagher.

“This is the day when we make it a collective habit to reach out globally and connect with each other to support what we all have in common, which is our University,” said Pitt Chancellor Gallagher. “Giving happens throughout the year but on this single day we, together, make a powerful statement.”

Pitt Pantry students collected 472 pounds of nonperishable food at the celebration at which students checked in to support 31 different organizations as part of a participation challenge.

A long list of Day of Giving records were shattered.

  • 6,346 donors made gifts compared to 3,358 in 2018.
  • 2,883 alumni made gifts which is 49% more than in 2018
  • 783 young alumni gave throughout the day, nearly doubling last year’s 400
  • 1,485 staff and faculty made gifts far eclipsing last year’s total of 808

Noreen Doloughty (CGS ’11) tweeted, “My mom was able to earn her bachelor’s and master’s from @PittTweet using my dad’s GI Bill benefits after he was killed in Vietnam. Today I gave back to the @PittVetServices campaign on #PittDayOfGiving.”

Challenges worth $200,000 sparked friendly competition among Pitt schools, programs, and student groups. Among the winners: The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences took first place in the Schools or Colleges challenge; Osher Lifelong Learning Institute captured the Places, Experiences, + More contest; Pitt Club Tennis earned the most gifts among Students Organizations; and The University Band Fund captured the contest among Athletics funds.

Every school, college, and campus saw increases in the number of unique donors over 2018. The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford saw the greatest growth in donors, eclipsing its 2018 total by 464%.

“Anytime we can talk about the power of philanthropy and how everyone has a role to play in supporting our students and faculty, it works for the betterment of our mission,” Davitt said. “There is a place for everyone in that success and there is a place for everyone in Pitt Day of Giving.”

*All numbers are unaudited and could change as data are reviewed.

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