Carnegie Mellon University

Giving Tuesday

CMU Donors Made an Impact on Giving Tuesday

Carnegie Mellon supporters came together in a big way on Tuesday, November 28 to support the university’s students, faculty and staff. As a community, they made it the biggest Giving Tuesday campaign, known as #givingCMUday at CMU, in university history.

Alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and friends from all over the world gave 2,597 gifts for a total of $528,898, an 82 percent increase in the number of gifts from the previous year. These generous gifts funded everything from Greek chapters to college innovation efforts to scholarships.

“Giving Tuesday has a huge global presence and we know that people are thinking about philanthropy on that day,” said Mary Ann McCollough, director of annual giving. “Our community members know their gift can accomplish a lot here.”

CMU’s #givingCMUday kicked off at 12:01 a.m. that day with hundreds of students gathering for Plaid Palooza in the Cohon University Center, where students donated nearly $5,000 to start the marathon day of fundraising.

The impact of every gift was amplified by university leadership and the President’s Office, which matched gifts from students. The office also matched contributions to the Nooks and UPLift programs for student experience and collaborative spaces that improve the campus experience.

Thanks to a donor, student donors were selected as part of challenges and given the opportunity to pick an organization or fund to receive additional money. Some of the organizations that received funding and won a $500 prize were CMU Mock Trial, CMU Bhangra, CMU Raasta, Global Medical Brigades and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Head Discretionary Fund. Additionally, three CMU Crowdfunding projects were fully funded by the end of #givingCMUday. With the cooperative funding from around the world, student groups will fund alternative break trips, research projects, on-campus programming, Buggy design improvements and more.

“#givingCMUday is important to me because it's an opportunity for me to show my gratitude and appreciation for everything that CMU has given me, my friends and my family in just four short years,” said Arya Hezarkhani, a senior biomedical engineering major in the College of Engineering and a member of the Student Giving Committee.

Many of CMU’s colleges and schools held their own #givingCMUday events throughout the day to support the larger initiative and promote their college-based giving opportunities. CMU-Africa participated in Giving Tuesday for the first time ; their student donors reached an impressive 100 percent giving rate across the Rwanda campus on that day.