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Redbird Philanthropy Week celebrates giving on campus

At Illinois State, Redbirds support Redbirds. In fact, more than 46,000 alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students, and friends have supported current students’ dreams by contributing to Redbirds Rising: The Campaign for Illinois State. To honor the generous donors who help the University provide a premier educational experience, Illinois State will be kicking off its inaugural Redbird Philanthropy Week on February 25, 2019.

Occurring the week after Founders Day, Redbird Philanthropy Week will expand upon the commemoration of Illinois State’s rich history and traditions by celebrating Redbirds’ shared future and the tremendous impact that private giving has upon the University’s continued growth. Just as Illinois State’s founders banded together to create a world-class institution, so too can Illinois State alumni and friends unite to expand Illinois State’s margin of excellence by supporting Redbird Philanthropy Week.

Van Miller, Director of Annual Giving at Illinois State University, hopes that the week will serve as a learning experience for all Redbirds.

“Philanthropy improves everything we do at Illinois State University,” Miller said. “Donors play such a critical role in advancing the University. Redbird Philanthropy Week is an occasion to celebrate our donors while featuring opportunities for students to understand the ways donors actively work to help them rise to new heights of excellence.”

The hallmark of Redbird Philanthropy Week is Illinois State’s first ever exclusive giving day on February 28, Birds Give Back. Birds Give Back emphasizes the importance of participation in the philanthropic process, no matter one’s financial standing. The day will feature gift matching, where donors will match donations given to a particular fund or college up to a set dollar amount. Another feature of Birds Give Back are unique giving challenges. One such challenge will unlock a $100,000 gift from a donor once 500 individuals donate during Birds Give Back. All challenges and matches will be posted on the day’s site,

According to Senior Director of Annual Giving Jillian Nelson, the giving challenges on Birds Give Back ensure that Redbirds’ gifts will be more impactful.

“As a student or young alumni with not that much expendable income, you may feel like it’s not worth the effort to make a small gift,” Nelson said, “but gift matching and giving challenges allow your gift of any size to have more power than it would on its own. Collectively, we can come together to enhance Illinois State.”

Julia Gramont, a second-year master’s student in communication at Illinois State, is excited for the ways that Redbird Philanthropy Week and Birds Give Back will demonstrate to students the power they have to come together and grow the Illinois State community through philanthropy.

“I think Redbird Philanthropy Week will help make students aware of the fact that the experience doesn’t end here, and they can stay connected to the University by donating,” Gramont said. “It’s like a passing of the torch. I want the University to continue to grow and for students to have the experience of attending an Illinois State that’s always on the rise.”

Join us for the following Redbird Philanthropy events across campus!

  • Philanthropy Exhibits: Monday, February 25–Friday, March 1 Bone Student Center, Student Fitness Center, Milner Library. Explore visual exhibits to see how philanthropy is impacting your Redbird experience
  • Cocoa, Coffee, and Philanthropy: Tuesday, Feb. 26 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Bone Student Center, Milner Library 1 p.m.–5 p.m., Student Fitness Center. Stop by to get a free cup of hot chocolate or coffee and help fill the Redbird Philanthropy walls!
  • Faces of Philanthropy: Wednesday, Feb. 27 Old Main, Bone Student Center 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Free pizza and drinks while you take your photo in one of our unique Instagrammable spaces. Learn about the people behind Redbird Philanthropy as you interact with our live Facebook wall!
  • Become a Redbird Philanthropist: Thursday, Feb. 28 Bone Student Center, Linkins Dining Center, Watterson Dining Center 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Stop by a mobile giving station and become a Redbird Philanthropist by making your gift of any size to during Birds Give Back. Credit, debit and Redbird card dollars will be accepted. All donors will receive an exclusive Reggie patch and gifts of $15 or more will receive a pair of Redbird socks while supplies last!
  • Thank A Redbird Philanthropist: Friday, March 1 Bone Student Center, Student Fitness Center, Milner Library 10 a.m.–2p.m. Stop by one of our thank you writing tables and share your note of thanks with a Redbird Philanthropists. Free cookies and drinks for students who join us to thank a Redbird donor!