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Sunday, December 10, 2023

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SDSU's Electronic Solicitation Manager Dan Majors ('03) and Vanessa Horne ('03) prepare for the Great Give on Oct. 24. (Photo: Tobin Vaughn) SDSU's Electronic Solicitation Manager Dan Majors ('03) and Vanessa Horne ('03) prepare for the Great Give on Oct. 24. (Photo: Tobin Vaughn)

A Day of Philanthropy

SDSU’s first-ever day of philanthropy raised nearly $140,000.
By Tobin Vaughn

Although a complete result has yet to be tallied, San Diego State University’s first-ever day of philanthropy, the Great Give, raised nearly $140,000 from more than 700 gifts. The 24-hour online event on Oct. 25, benefited students, faculty, research and important campus programs, and was a success for dozens of university entities receiving donations.

“Our intent was to focus attention on giving opportunities campus-wide,” said Dan Majors (’03), electronic solicitation manager for the Office of Alumni Engagement and the Great Give’s chief organizer. “We are pleased to have been able to generate support for a large and diverse group of campus partners who participated.”

Topping the list of beneficiaries was the Library and Information Access Spaces for Students initiative, which received gifts totaling more than $42,000. That amount includes the Great Give’s largest single donation, a matching gift of more than $21,000.

Good causes

Most gifts, however, were much smaller, including those from many students who stopped by the SDSU Bookstore where they could designate their $10 donations through Aztec Proud to Aztecs Rock Hunger or student scholarships. Senior Rizelle Murallon, who hopes to become a kindergarten teacher, directed her gift to Aztecs Rock Hunger out of concern about food insecurity among young children.

"I just thought it was a really good cause," said the liberal studies major from San Jose. “In elementary education, there are so many kids who don't have food every time they go home or their source of meals is only at school or primarily at school, so I feel it’s important.”

Matt Smith (’14), a graduate student in the College of Education, had heard about the Great Give through emails. He came by the bookstore to make his donation to student scholarships.

"I wanted to come in and do my part to try to help out,” said the Chula Vista resident and educator with a goal of becoming a high school principal. "I received student scholarships when I first got here, so I felt like I kind of owed it to give back.”

Smith also said he likes the idea of designating a special day on campus to focus on philanthropy.

"I think it's great,” he said. “I hope this is something we continue for years to come.”

A sense of community

Smith’s sentiments were shared by Giselle Luevanos (’08), SDSU’s director of digital media. An Alumni Association lifetime member who regularly donates to campus causes, she directed her Great Give gift to the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, from which she received her journalism degree.

"Because this is the first-ever day of giving for the university, it's really exciting to take part in it,” she said. “I think the sense of community and crowd fundraising aspect of the Great Give adds a little bit of extra participatory excitement."

Majors said he and other organizers will analyze this year’s Great Give results with an eye toward improvements for the future. He is already looking forward to the event in 2017.

“We are all truly grateful to everyone who participated in the Great Give,” he said, “but next year’s will be even greater.”