Birds Give Back is the annual day of giving at Illinois State University. Through challenges, social media posts, and much more, Redbirds around the world are invited to financially support the University in areas that strike their passions. At midnight on February 24, 2022, Illinois State began its fourth annual Birds Give Back with the help of the School of Communication and interns to create interactive challenges via social media to inspire the community.
The School of Communication received the most gifts with 328 gifts. Athletics placed second with 192 gifts followed by the Multicultural Center with 158 gifts. Looking at all the giving results, the Illinois State community has a passion for communication. Each challenge was met, including various challenges for the School of Communication, TV-10, and ISU Forensics. More results and challenge descriptions can be found at birdsgiveback.illinoisstate.edu.
Dr. Stephen Hunt, professor and executive director for the School of Communication, worked diligently to help coordinate Birds Give Back. Hunt’s role was two-fold: (1) bridging a gap between ISU stakeholders, and (2) monitoring social media engagement. Hunt describes Birds Give Back as a day of “sharing stories with our alumni and the rest of the world about the really cool things that students, faculty, staff, and alumni are doing.”
During Birds Give Back, interns monitored social media with analytics software and engaged with the public through social media. Lead intern for the School of Communication Promotion and Development team, Jessica Grzesiak, said that interns were “participating in any challenges that they could in between classes and trying to engage as much as possible.”
Grzesiak also noted the importance of the group chat she and her fellow interns used to keep updated with each other and support each other throughout the day. Analyzing social media, engaging with the ISU community, keeping informed about progress, and trying to participate in challenges were the interns’ tasks.
The two perspectives from Hunt and Grzesiak show the layers of support needed for Birds Give Back. Illinois State’s community of alumni, students, faculty, and friends showed its passion for the University through generous donations and engagement on social media. A year from now stakeholders will come together again to share stories and offer support to help strengthen the University for the next Birds Give Back. This year was a great example of how special it is to be a Redbird, especially one from the School of Communication.