University Raises More Than $5.7 Million on First-ever Day of Giving

Issue Date: 
March 22, 2017

The Pitt community — alumni, students, faculty, staff, friends, family, and fans — made 7,106 gifts for a record-breaking total of $5,772,518 in contributions on the inaugural University of Pittsburgh Day of Giving.

Donors from all 50 states and 22 countries across six continents — including 1,695 Pitt alumni and another 486 current students — gave to the University on its 230th anniversary on Feb. 28.

“Happy 230th birthday to the greatest school on earth!!” Nasreen Harun (CBA ’16) posted on Twitter. “Happy to show my love through today.”

Thanks to the campaign’s 69 volunteers, social media impressions for Pitt Day of Giving topped 2.75 million, with 2.5 million on Twitter and Instagram alone, and another 245,971 on Facebook.

Participation challenges, funded by an anonymous donor who made a $125,000 commitment to provide additional funding for the schools, programs, or student groups that secured the highest rates of donor participation, helped drive the success of the campaign. 

  • Pitt Club Tennis netted top honors winning $5,000 in the Student Organization Challenge, while the Men’s Glee Club took the second prize of $2,500. The Pitt Rowing Club captured third prize of $1,500 and the Society of Women Engineers grabbed fourth prize of $1,000.

Chancellor Pat Gallagher and his wife, Karen, also issued a “challenge” with the goal of securing 230 gifts from young alumni (classes 2013–2017).

“As a double alumnus, #PittDayofGiving helps ensure the next generation can gain as much as I did,” Colin Sisk (A&S ’14, EDUC ’16) posted on Twitter. “Glad to give.”

Colin was joined by hundreds of similarly minded young alumni. As a result, the Gallaghers made their gift of $10,000 to the General Scholarship Fund when the Chancellor’s Challenge finished with 577 gifts.

“Pitt Day of Giving focused messaging on one of the University’s top institutional priorities: the need for increased scholarship support,” said O’Neil Outar, interim vice chancellor for institutional advancement. “Pitt’s global community of alumni and friends responded generously to our appeal, helping to ensure that the University will be able to attract and support top students.”