RowanGIVES Day 2018 exceeds expectations!

RowanGIVES Day 2018 exceeds expectations!

Fourth annual event draws nearly double the number of donors sought

The old expression may be “give until it hurts,” but as nearly 2,400 members of the Rowan community found out March 1, giving doesn’t hurt—it feels good!

As in the past, the fourth annual RowanGIVES Day event was held not with the goal of raising a certain amount of money but to get as many Profs as possible involved.

Giving as little as $5, students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the University gave online, in person and through the Rowan Student Calling Center in Alvin Shpeen Hall during the 24-hour fundraising marathon.

When it ended at 11:59 p.m., 2,332 donors far exceeded the goal of 1,250 and raised $112,692.01 to support a wide range of Rowan programs.

Unlike traditional fundraisers, where donors contribute to the overall organization, RowanGIVES Day is structured so donors may gift either generally or to a specific segment of the university – a team, an office or a program such as The Rowan Fund, which supports areas of the University with the greatest need.

“The importance of an event like RowanGIVES Day cannot be overstated,” said John J. Zabinski, senior vice president for University Advancement. “This year’s event was hugely successful for the number of donors involved, the amount of funds raised and because through donors’ feedback we got to hear in the most direct way which areas of the University are the most important to them and that they want to support.”

Meeting the challenge

Throughout the day, donors also unlocked various “challenge” gifts, pre-determined pots of funding that could only be released if donor goal totals were met.

Included among them was the Rowan Community Challenge, for which the top six designees received $2,500 each. Five of those top six were athletics programs: Field Hockey (197 donors), Men's Soccer (146 donors), Swimming & Diving (141 donors), Softball (127 donors) and Women's Basketball (120 donors).

The sixth top designee was the Office of Social Justice, Inclusion and Conflict Resolution (109 donors), where Director Gardy Guiteau said the funding will have a direct and immediate impact on students’ lives.

“The lion’s share of that funding will go to the SJICR Emergency Fund to help any active student who has an adverse situation come up in their life,” Guiteau said. “Given a limited size of the fund, it’s wonderful to get this type of support where a few hundred dollars can tide students over in a way that’s really significant. Growing this fund during RowanGIVES days helps us support more students.”

Another challenge, one funded by Rowan distinguished alumnus and motivational speaker Shaun T ’01, unlocked a $1,000 gift from the fitness guru after the overall donor goal of 1,250 participants was met.

A third, the Bo Niland Athletics Challenge, included a $2,500 gift from alumnus Bill “Bo” Niland, a 1980 graduate who lettered on Glassboro State College’s varsity football team all four years. His challenge for the most donors to any given team powered Women’s Soccer to trounce the competition with 265 donors and collect the challenge gift.


A university-wide event

Though largely centered in the Student Center on the main campus, there were RowanGIVES Day activities in Camden at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, in Stratford at the School of Osteopathic Medicine, off campus in Glassboro and in four academic buildings.

RowanGIVES Day monies also help support student-generated ProfFunder projects such as Project BluBQ, an initiative by the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity to fund two barbecues during the year. The group, a mainstay at Rowan for decades, has been hosting barbeques for the Rowan community for some 40 years.

Making a pledge online in the Student Center Pit, senior Malcolm Harris said he and his Phi Beta Sigma fraternity brothers have embraced helping others as a critical part of the college experience.

“We emphasize service all year long but it’s important for us to give back today because we’re trying to build awareness for all of the great opportunities at Rowan,” Harris said. “More than that, it’s a Rowan helping Rowan thing and that feels good.”

The daylong event also provided an opportunity for students to meet and speak with representatives from campus and off-campus volunteer organizations including March of Dimes, Back to the Boro (an annual program in which Rowan students volunteer to assist residents with home projects), Rowan EMS, and more.

To learn more about the event, to see all of the challenges and to learn how you can further support Rowan University, please visit RowanGIVES Day 2018.