NMU Day of Giving hosts fifth annual fundraising event

Dreyma Beronja, News Editor

Northern Michigan University held its fifth annual NMU Day of Giving in order to help increase academic resources and expand critical access and aid for NMU students. The day of giving was held on Tuesday, Nov. 30.

The event has largely been digital. Activity and interactions with donors mostly occur through social media so there has not been much different from year to year since NMU started to hold this fundraising campaign, Andy Hill, NMU Foundation director of annual giving, said. 

“One thing that has changed, mainly because of COVID-related health and safety practices, is how we’ve directed support for the NMU Food Pantry,” Hill said. “Larger food collection events present logistical challenges for staff to hold and giving to the Pantry is best done now by making a gift online through our website nmu.edu/give.”

This year, with 29 donations, the pantry was able to raise $3,042, beating its goal of $2,500. Each dollar raised would be matched to the gift received from their giving partner, Meijer.

In addition to the pantry’s donation, general scholarships raised $6,415 and the Student Leader Fellowship Program earned $15,000 due to 39 people donating, going over the requirement of 30 people needed to earn the extra donations.

“I know the pandemic is influencing individual giving behaviors and shifting philanthropic interests as priorities evolve because of today’s climate. Donors may choose other non-profits or delay their normal giving activity,” Hill said. “However, we have not seen any significant differences over this year and last in the number of people giving annually to NMU. In fact, we have been able to involve more people in our messages to support NMU students because more people are now accustomed to and familiar interacting through digital channels.”

One example Hill said was the NMU Alumni Association. The association has been able to continue to engage with NMU graduates through its digital events series so that participating in alumni programs is greater instead of hosting events in specific cities where people are limited geographically. 

“This has allowed the Foundation to then have a wider audience hearing about giving because they are more tuned in to what’s available for them to join in on through online means. Last year alumni, parents, friends and employees wanted to do something to help students, and this year, it has been more of the same,” Hill said. “Education will always be an important cause to support and the Northern community cares about this University and the students it serves.”

Hill said that outside of seeing the Northern community coming together, it is exciting to see what giving can do to student education.

“Funds raised on Day of Giving help provide more scholarship support for students – increasing both access and aid to attend and continue their education, as well as, providing departments and programs additional resources to expand and grow learning opportunities for students,” Hill said. “Our donors are influencing student learning through the opportunities they are giving directly creates.”

While NMU Day of Giving is over, donations are still being accepted through the event’s webpage. Any donations towards WNMU-TV or WNMU-FM, however, should be directed towards their own web pages.