Over $650,000 raised on CSU's annual giving day
Almost 3,000 donors raised over $650,000 on Thursday during Cleveland State University's 10th annual Giving Day. The money raised will be used toward athletic improvements, college-funded research and other college programs.
On the day, much of the action was centered at the Joanie and Tom Adler Atrium, where the Alumni Association was holding a giving day party. Students thronged the area, picking up free T-shirts, chowing down on pizza, and celebrating the spirit of generosity the day brings out in the Cleveland State community.
The lines stretched across the atrium as organizers were quick to pass out the gifts. The sounds of music and boisterous conversation filled the air as the merriment kicked off.
Mac Lewis, CSU graduate and vice president of the Young Alumni Council, faced the throng of eager people with an enthusiastic smile as he handed out the shirts. He also assisted the participants with filling out thank you cards for donors.
Mac Lewis was a Young Alumni Association volunteer on the day who helped hand out prizes
to participants as they entered the atrium. (credit: Karyssa Rose)
This is the eighth year the Young Alumni Council VP has taken part in the day.
“I’ve participated as a student, and as an alumnus,” Lewis said. “It’s really special as an alum because I can see where the dollars from this event go, and the impact it has on students.”
Lewis is one of many people who rallied behind the fundraising and festivities at Giving Day, which CSU describes as a philanthropic party where donors are encouraged to be competitive with their contributions and students can show their appreciation.
The day's final totals were $651,792 raised from 2,839 donors. This year's donations were again a record and easily topped last year's total of $543,402. Donations in 2021 totaled more than $460,000, shattering 2019's $283,710.
CSU's athletes and their supporters showed once again the spirit that drives them on and off the field. At the end of the day, the ten areas that raised the most money were:
- Woodling Gym Enhancement Project - $136,066.60
- Wrestling - $64,315.89
- Swimming & Diving - $56,936.00
- Men's and Women's Tennis - $36,356.00
- Lacrosse - $35,553.00
- Men's and Women's Golf - $26,013.00
- Women's Soccer - $25,232.00
- Last-Mile Scholarships - $25,010.00
- Men's Basketball - $23,945.00
- Volleyball - $19,614.90
John Templeman, the director of Annual Giving for Cleveland State University, organized the event, the second year that he has coordinated the day. Templeman donned chunky black headphones as he operated his DJ booth, and cranked out tunes that made the atrium feel like a nightclub.
“Giving Day is a day where you can raise a lot of money in a short amount of time, it’s great because areas that normally don’t get the ability to fundraise get a chance to shine,” Templeman said.
One of the driving factors of the event is the competitive nature of the donations. Different departments from the school compete to raise the most money and fundraising ambassadors receive “interval incentives” along the way, Templeman explained. The highest-earning ambassador is awarded $1000 for their effort, which raises the stakes for ambitious participants.
Event organizer John Templeman spent most of his time manning the DJ booth
to keep the crowd energized and excited while donating. (credit: Karyassa Rose)
“It’s a way to have fun with fundraising,” Templeman said.
As the music kept flowing from the DJ booth, Lewis continued to assist the last few students in line. All the shirts were gone, but the freebies weren't the only thing for participants to enjoy. Lewis said it’s the sense of community that keeps him coming back.
“The best part of Giving Day, hands down is seeing who’s on that donor board,” Lewis said. “ You can see who they're donating on behalf of, or in memory of, and it’s really special to see those stories.”
If you want to take part in Giving Day 2024 you can find out more information here.