By Beth Casteel
Cleveland State University’s fifth annual Giving Day will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 20. The event will take place over a 24-hour period where students, faculty and outside members of the community will be able to make donations to various departments and organizations across campus.
Structured as a friendly competition between the colleges and departments, Giving Day allows everyone at the university to get into the spirit of the event and challenge one another in a mix of online events throughout the day.
Celeste Cappotto Babulski, the manager of Annual Giving, has been involved since the third annual Giving Day. Seeing it’s progression, Babulski foresees the event growing even more this semester than in years past.
“Three years ago, our goal was to have 450 donors participate and we had 650 donors, last year our goal was to have 850 donors and we ended up with 1,260 donors, so we’ve seen significant growth year after year,” Babulski said.
While Giving Day hasn’t officially happened yet, over 100 people have signed up to take on the role of an ambassador for the program. This role consists of emailing and calling contacts to see if they would be interested in donating to one of the organizations on campus.
According to Babulski, having ambassadors for the event is a good way of reaching a bigger audience. By having a student who is passionate about a department in need, Babulski feels that it gives donors more of an inclination to donate to the cause.
As for the donations, they are 100 percent tax deductible and charitable. The money donated will go specifically to the department or organization that donor wants it to go to. Each area on campus will have their own page within the website. Once a donor goes onto the website, they can browse what different colleges are asking funding for.
“100 percent of what [the donors] give goes to whatever area that donor is telling us they would like that funding to go to,” Bubulski said.
In addition to ambassadors getting donations, Giving Day will also have a slew of challenges that will allow people to get involved more with the day.
The challenges are designed to allow students to get involved as much as the donors. Some challenges give participants a chance to win prizes like gift cards to tickets to different events. A lot of the challenges are easy things, like posting a picture of yourself to social media.
One of the biggest and most beneficial donation challenges are the ones that match every dollar in a certain amount of time. According to Babulski, those donations can have a greater impact for the departments, organizations or club sports involved because it allows them to receive more money.
Regardless of the donation amount, Babulski encourages everyone to get involved with Giving Day because it’s a chance for students to not only familiarize themselves as to why philanthropy is important, but supports the organizations around campus as well.
“There’s a lot of really worthwhile projects looking for funds, a lot of great programs within the colleges that are really doing great things,” Babulski said. “I’d love to see all of those programs hit their goals and receive the maximum amount of funds they can for giving day.”