This year’s Day of Giving exceeded Florida Tech’s goal of 1,500 donors with funds reaching just under $200,000 in 24 hours.
The funds that were raised will be used for everything from updating technology on campus, providing for scholarship and research grants and funding the new Health Sciences Building.
Mary Ida Spradlin, the assistant director of annual giving, is the main organizer for the Day of Giving.
The day was dedicated to raising money for the campus, and Spradlin said it is their biggest online fundraising event.
Spradlin graduated from Florida Tech two years ago, and said the purpose of the event is to bring in alumni donors.
According to Spradlin, her job is to connect with all current students and alumni, and she planned this year’s theme of superhero Pete the Panther.
Sydney Tai, a sophomore in biomathematics, works as a student ambassador for the development office and acts as a student caller.
Tai said that her job is to contact alumni to inform them about current events on campus.
This includes information about how alumni can donate. Furthermore, any alumni that donates more than $1,000 is eligible for invitations to special events, including Tastes of the Season, an annual banquet featuring a dinner made by award- winning chefs during the holiday season.
According to Spradlin, this year they had 1,984 donors in 24 hours.
Bess Handel, a junior in psychology, was assigned to work on Day of Giving for her public relations class.
Her task was to create awareness for the student body and the superhero theme, advertising on the School of Arts and Communication Facebook page.
Handel’s team received help from the Office of Development in running a
booth outside of Panther Dining Hall for students, where students could write down their superpower and participate in a social media campaign.
“The Day of Giving is essentially an opportunity to give back to Florida Tech and all it’s done for you,” Handel said. “Whether you are faculty, staff, a student or simply a local resident, all donations are welcome and appreciated. Even if it’s just some spare change at the bottom of their wallet, it can help both the university and you as a student.”
Handel said that knowing exactly where donations go can make alumni and students more inclined to donate.
“It gives people an opportunity to support their interests and hobbies instead of just handing over money and not knowing what it’s going toward,” Handel said.
Tai agreed, saying, “It all goes back to the students, whether it be through grants or scholarships or specific areas.”
Spradlin says donors can specify where their donations go, giving to specific colleges, Athletics or the Panther Fund.
Spradlin also added that the Panther Fund is the university’s president’s fund to use for Florida Tech’s greatest needs.
Handel had some ideas to improve Day of Giving as well since she said she feels that not much has been advertised beyond emails, suggesting that students expand participation with more groups being encouraged to run booths.
“Students are more likely to donate if students are promoting the event, as opposed to Florida Tech staff,” Handel said. “Students will do a lot for extra credit, as we all know.”
Spradlin said she has already started planning how to improve next year’s Day of Giving. “This year was the biggest year we’ve had yet, and I think next year will be even bigger,” said Spradlin.