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IU Foundation raises money for students, initiatives on Giving Tuesday



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Students involved with the IU Student Foundation encourage other IU students to thank a donor by Sample Gates in 2016. People often participate in Giving Tuesday by donating money to IU through the IU Foundation.  IDS file photo Buy Photos

Black Friday and Cyber Monday mark the beginning of the holiday season in the United States, with shoppers spending in 2017 an estimated $717.5 billion.

But the holidays’ younger sibling, Giving Tuesday, marks the beginning of the charitable season, according to the movement’s website. On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, participants donate money to charitable causes.

Some of that money went to IU students and initiatives through the IU Foundation, an independent non-profit organization that raises funds for the University. 

“It’s just really a great day and way to focus attention and energy on a lot of urgent needs on campus,” said Matt Kavgian, director of strategic communications and projects for the Foundation.

The IU Foundation participates in Giving Tuesday to raise money for students, schools and initiatives across its nine campuses, which has been aided by the boom of crowdfunding in recent years.

“Technology has really helped us achieve our goals of doing meaningful fund development,” Kavgian said. 

He said the most successful fundraising is done when peers give to each other. Technology allows the Foundation to reach a wider audience of these peers online. 

Kavgian said the Foundation reached out to 112,000 people about Giving Tuesday through social media posts, email campaigns and phone calls.

This year, 23 groups ran crowdfunding campaigns on Giving Tuesday through the Foundation, including some that had already been fundraising before Nov. 27. Donations ran from $5 to $10,000. One campaign only received one donation while another received 129. 

Campaigns this year included fundraising for pro bono legal services through the Maurer School of Law and the IU Center for Underwater Science.

“Some of these smaller crowdfunding campaigns, while they may be small, meet very specific needs for very specific students,” Kavgian said. 

The Foundation will not release the total amount raised on Giving Tuesday this year, Kavgian said. The organization also does not set monetary goals for Giving Tuesday. 

“We’re more interested in driving participation, because gift size matters much less to us then just involvement,” Kavgian said.

One of the Foundation’s emails reached Steven Young, an anesthesiologist in Indianapolis. Young said he donated to the Marching Hundred’s campaign for new instruments because he played trombone for the band as an undergraduate.

“I know that there is always a need for updating instruments,” Young said. “That touched a heart string.”

Young and his family have a long history with IU. Young received his medical degree from the IU School of Medicine in 1972. He said his father and wife both attended IU and soon so will his grandson.

Young said donating is important to him because IU and community organizations need financial support to flourish.

“If you believe in an entity and you know they’re doing a good job, you should do whatever you can to try to support them,” Young said.

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