The fourth annual Birds Give Back, Illinois State’s own giving day, will be held on Thursday, February 24, during ISU’s Redbird Philanthropy Week scheduled from February 21-25.

“Redbird Philanthropy Week is meant to enrich the culture of philanthropy at Illinois State,” said Director of Annual Giving Van Miller. “Students will learn about how donations of all sizes enhance their Redbird experience. They’ll also have an opportunity to express their gratitude to the thousands of donors who invest in Illinois State’s people and programs.”

The week culminates with Birds Give Back on Thursday, February 24. Last year, more than $1 million was raised and a record number of 3,184 gifts made. This year’s theme is Birds Give Back: Mission Possible. The goal is to exceed last year’s total of dollars raised and number of gifts to set a new giving day record.

The day will be full of giving challenges, including an opening challenge from Aaron Hillebrandt ’07. His $100,000 gift commitment for student scholarships will be unlocked when the first 1,000 gifts are made. Hillebrandt was inspired to make his gift because of the impact actuarial science faculty had on his life. He encourages donors to make a gift and use the Redbird Shoutout form to send a special message to Redbirds who have made a difference in their lives.

Redbird Shoutout is a new opportunity for donors to share messages of hope, encouragement, or appreciation to any special Redbirds in their lives. Other additions to the day include two livestream events. At noon will be the Birds Give Back Power Hour. Game Night with Reggie will occur at 7 p.m.

“Birds Give Back has become a beautiful tradition here at Illinois State. There’s truly no better day to renew your support, make your first gift, or provide a special donation for your favorite program area,” said Senior Director of Annual Giving Jillian Nelson. “The giving experience is elevated with exclusive content and exciting challenges. It really is a joyful celebration as the Redbird community unites its collective philanthropic power to make a transformational impact at Illinois State.”

To learn more about Birds Give Back, or to sign up to be a Birds Give Back Ambassador, visit To view all Birds Give Back challenges and make your gift on Illinois State’s very own giving day, visit