Columbia Giving Day, a twenty-four hour online fund drive held on October 23, raised $7.8 million, exceeding the previous year’s inaugural effort by roughly $1 million.
Drawing gifts from 9,759 donors in all fifty states and fifty-three countries, Giving Day had nearly twice the number of participants as the 2012 event. Their gifts will support financial aid, research, and other programs across the University.
“In just two years, Columbia Giving Day has become a major event that inspires collaboration and participation across the University and the Columbia community worldwide,” said Fred Van Sickle, executive vice president for university development and alumni relations.
In a spirit of friendly competition, twenty-four of Columbia’s schools and programs vied for $332,500 in matching funds that had been offered up ahead of time by seven donors. Columbia College secured the biggest slice by raising $2.47 million, followed by athletics with $1.82 million and Columbia Engineering with $732,600. The School of Continuing Education won the alumni participation challenge, with the College of Dental Medicine, Columbia College, and Barnard College close behind.
The event was driven by an extensive social-media marketing effort and the work of many volunteers; nearly one-third of donations came through a Columbia Facebook page, while the Giving Day website, which featured live video conversations on topics such as health care and nanoscience, brought in 61 percent of the gifts.