#GiveLikeAViking Breaks Records, Again

Giving Day 2018 breaks records

The challenge for Augustana’s second annual Giving Day was to #GiveLikeAViking in support of student scholarships and campus priorities.

Viking supporters heard the call. And they delivered.

The 24-hour giving event, held on Thursday, March 1, raised $155,891 through 386 gifts received from individuals in 39 states, as well as Canada and Germany.

The effort surpassed last year’s Giving Day total and set a new record for the largest number of gifts ever received by Augustana in a single day.

Communication about Giving Day was primarily online, with email and social media serving as the effort’s main messaging vehicles.

The call to give resonated with alumni, especially. Graduates from the classes of 1946 through 2017 (and even future grads through the class of 2020) came forward to show their love for their alma mater and the faculty and staff who made an impact on their lives, making gifts that ranged from $10 to $15,000.

Alumni also used social media to rally their peers to support the initiative.

“Today is Augustana's Giving Day, a day where we ask alumni and friends to help make an Augie education possible for future Vikings,” Kjerstin Smith ’93 wrote in a post on Facebook. “Giving doesn't have to be thousands of dollars (although that would be nice). Give what fits your budget. You can give a one-time gift, or you could sign up to have a donation taken out monthly, which is what Jamie (my husband) and I do. College is expensive, but an Augie experience is priceless. Make that an option for upcoming Vikings.”

Augustana parents joined in the effort, too.

Darcie and Matt Bien, both ’92 grads, are parents to twin daughters who are sophomores at AU. They challenged fellow parents to “show support and make Augustana even better.”

“As parents of twin sophomore girls who are having a great experience at Augustana, my husband and I think Augie is a pretty special place. To show our support and make Augustana even better, we are going to participate in Augie's annual ‘Giving Day’ on Thursday, March 1 — an event designed to raise support for student scholarships and campus priorities,” the couple wrote on Facebook and via email. “We invite you to join us! Gifts of any amount are encouraged and appreciated, and Matt and I will match gifts made by Augustana parents on Thursday — up to $2,500. Simply make a gift today and your gift will count toward our Giving Day total.”

Fellow parents accepted the challenge, exceeding the $2,500 match amount by nearly eight times.

Augustana supporters Van and Barb Fishback issued a similar challenge, offering to match Giving Day gifts from Augustana supporters in Brookings. This challenge, too, was accepted — Giving Day gifts from Brookings totaled more than $4,000.

Amy Benda '89, director of annual giving for Augustana, said Giving Day is important because it creates opportunities for future generations of Vikings.

"We can’t begin to express how grateful and appreciative we are to our alumni, friends, parents, students, faculty and staff for choosing to #GiveLikeAViking in support of Augustana on Giving Day,” Benda said. “By raising more money for student scholarships, we are ensuring that even more young people will have an opportunity to experience Augustana and earn the education of enduring worth held so dear by more than 25,000 Augie alumni around the world today.”

On campus, Giving Day coincided with an #AugieLove celebration, a day-long drive to encourage students, faculty and staff to write thank-you notes to Augustana donors. The University collected more than 700 thank-you notes that donors will receive later this month. See photos of students and members of the campus community expressing #AugieLove on Giving Day.

A Thank-You Message from President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin