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Donating with a purpose: Birds Give Back inspires new tradition for annual giving

Student hanging thank you note on wall during Birds Give Back.

Students participated in activities across campus during Birds Give Back, held February 27, 2019.

The Illinois State University inaugural Birds Give Back – 1 Day for Change proved to be a raging success. With the participation from alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends, the event, held on February 28, 2019 raised over $625,494 from 1,734 gifts.

Senior Director of Annual Giving Jillian Nelson said, “Birds Give Back was a soaring success as we ended up setting a record for most gifts in a single giving day and most dollars raised in a giving day. In a year where we took a big leap away from Giving Tuesday to create our own Birds Give Back tradition, we were amazed by the outpouring of support as the Redbird Community came together to impact campus in a big way!”

Birds Give Back was the pinnacle of Redbird Philanthropy Week, which capitalized on the importance of private giving. Throughout the week, several events were held around campus focusing on spreading awareness of what philanthropy is and how donations of any size help in so many ways. The impact of this fundraising effort showcased how incredible our donors are and represent what can be accomplished in one day.

Vice President of University Advancement Pat Vickerman said, “Birds Give Back was a tremendous success. We experienced an unprecedented level of digital interaction and gift support coming from our alumni and friends. The Redbird community responded to the call for action on Birds Give Back and demonstrated their level of enthusiasm and confidence in the ISU experience. Thanks to our donors making a record-setting 1,734 gifts, Redbirds representing 42 states, came together to celebrate what they care about at ISU. The more than $625,000 is a wonderful investment in Illinois State and demonstrates the power of Redbirds coming together.”

The donations raised from Birds Give Back contribute to Illinois State University’s comprehensive campaign, Redbirds Rising: The Campaign for Illinois State. The $150 million-dollar campaign focuses on raising levels of scholarship, leadership, and innovation across the University. “We had gifts as small as $1 to as large as $100,000, but the power of 1,734 gifts came together to support the people and programs of Illinois State.  We can’t wait for next year!” Nelson said.

The most ambitious campaign in Illinois State history, Redbirds Rising, has more than 46,000 donors who have already contributed over $139 million in outright gifts and commitments since the beginning of the campaign.  While our Birds Give Back is over, those interested in supporting the campaign can visit RedbirdsRising.IllinoisState.edu at any time to learn more or make a gift.

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Congratulations on an incredibly successful day of giving!

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