The fourth annual Birds Give Back, Illinois State’s own day of giving, will be held on Thursday, February 24. It occurs within ISU’s Redbird Philanthropy Week scheduled for February 21 to February 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.”

To kick off Redbird Philanthropy Week, students are encouraged to complete the second annual online Redbird Philanthropy Quest. The quest consists of a series of videos and questions that convey the impact of private support on the Redbird experience. The first 200 students to complete the quest will receive a T-shirt.

An in-person Redbird Philanthropy Week event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, February 23, in the Bone Student Center Circus Room. The event will provide students with a variety of experiences to deepen their understanding of philanthropy at Illinois State. Activities include a thank you letter station, a “Big Spender” game that allows students to select destinations for a hypothetical $100 gift, a ThankView filming station, participation prizes, food, and more. Students will be entered into a drawing for Apple AirPods when they complete each activity station and the Redbird Philanthropy Quest.

The week culminates on February 24 with Birds Give Back. 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.

“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 it collective philanthropic power to make a transformational impact at Illinois State.”

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.

A new opportunity this year encourages donors to spread Redbird love. After making a gift, they will receive a link where they can compose a “Redbird Shoutout” to share messages of hope, encouragement, or appreciation to special Redbirds in their lives.

Other additions are Livestream events that will be held at noon and 7 p.m on February 24 at The noon session will be a Birds Give Back Power Hour, with a Game Night with Reggie set for the evening event.

To learn more about Birds Give Back visit To view all Birds Give Back challenges and make your gift on Illinois State’s very own giving day, visit