Following the two most intense shopping days on the American calendar, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday encourages people to donate money rather than spend it.
Boston University participated in the global donating campaign Tuesday, asking university affiliates and others to donate money to the school.
Kristen Atwood, director of annual fund leadership and constituency programs, wrote in an email that she thinks the annual initiative increases awareness to causes alumni can support.
“… Giving Tuesday is a good platform to celebrate all the ways BU is having an impact globally,” Atwood wrote. “… One of the great things about giving to BU is that you can support what matters most to you. Each year, alumni, students, parents, and friends choose to support everything from softballs to software at BU.”
Donors can choose to give to a variety of causes such as Moot Court, a simulated court extracurricular program for law students, scholarships, and research on tracking medical records in developing countries.
“In addition to raising money, one of the goals of this day is to encourage broader alumni engagement with Boston University,” Atwood wrote. “… Because of Giving Tuesday’s global recognition, BU can participate and highlight some of the wonderful initiatives happening on campus that are changing the lives of people all over the world.”
BU spokesperson Colin Riley said although Giving Tuesday is not an official university event, BU welcomes any alumni to donate any day during the year.
“This is the season of giving, I think that’s well understood, not only when you’re giving gifts but you’re trying to look back and think throughout the year who helped you out, what places you want to support, what places and activities you want to support,” Riley said. “… I’m happy to receive them and happy to support them when I can.”
Every April, the university holds an official giving day where donors have 24 hours to give to causes including scholarships, sports teams and what BU deems to be its greatest need.
Kendall Castaneda, a sophomore who is a student supervisor at Telefund, said Giving Tuesday and BU Giving Day are two important days for students who work with Telefund to call potential donors.
Castaneda said Giving Tuesday is “a big time” for alumni to give back since people are in the mood to give back during the holiday season.
He referred to the day as a “calling marathon.” Instead of doing the usual 5:30–9 p.m. shift, Telefund callers take turns calling for 12 hours straight from noon to midnight.
Eve Worobel, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences who works for Telefund, said all of the money raised during the event went to the university’s annual fund, which covers day-to-day expenses.
“People have given to elevators that they heard their kids complain about,” Worobel said. “People have given to vending machines before. More often than not, they give to the college they attended or a club that they were involved in or their child is involved in.”
The average donation was $25–125 per person, according to Worobel.
“Need-based scholarships or even academic scholarships always need people to give to them, since no matter the amount of scholarship they give, they should be endless,” Worobel said.
Castaneda said people usually give back to the organizations they were a part of when they were students, as they want to support current students who share their interests and continue the positive experience they had at BU.
“Alumni aren’t giving necessarily to a website link or something like that, they are giving back to students they are physically talking to,” Castaneda said. “I think it really makes giving more impactful, because people who are interested in giving can really have that firm connection with the current university, and I think that helps Giving Tuesday a lot.”