Once a year, Fairfield University students find the Barone Campus Center decked out in red and white, with balloons and posters adorning the halls. This isn’t in celebration of a national holiday, but another kind of day for the school community: a day of fundraising known as STAGiving Day.

This Wednesday, March 20 marks the 10th annual STAGiving Day at Fairfield. The yearly event is a designated 24 hours of fundraising for a variety of programs and initiatives within the campus community.

Among the many university programs, activities and offices that can benefit from donations is the Center for Social Impact. Melissa Quan, Director of the Center for Social Impact, expressed the center’s STAGiving goals of raising money for two initiatives.

“This year, we are raising funds for our Center for Social Impact Fellows program – a paid fellowship through which students develop and apply knowledge and skills to address real-world issues through research, internships and leadership – and the Dream Fund – a scholarship fund for undocumented students enrolled at Fairfield University that helps ensure their status is not a barrier to achieving their full potential,” Quan said.

Donors looking to give to a university cause, such as the Center for Social Impact, can contribute in a number of different ways to gain extra money for their chosen fund. As in past years, there are a variety of “challenges” that will match donations when completed. For the “New Around Here Challenge,” two first-time donors will be randomly selected to have an additional $250 donated to their chosen fund. Another challenge, “Parents Know Best,” says that the 240th parent to donate during STAGiving will gain an additional $500 added on to their gift.

In describing the purpose and importance of having a day dedicated to fundraising, the STAGiving Day website states, “A tradition in its TENTH year, STAGiving Day is one day when the Stag community comes together as One Fairfield to support student scholarships, innovative research, athletics, diversity and inclusion, spirituality, service and other important University initiatives —and close the gaps not filled by tuition or endowment funds.”

As outlined on the donation page and other university materials, those making donations can choose where they want their money to go. Rather than giving to one general fund, donors have the ability to select the specific cause they want to support from athletic teams to academic scholarships. A full list of giving opportunities will be available on the online giving page on March 20.

Current students looking to help with the STAGiving fundraising effort can do so by becoming an “advocate.” By signing up as an advocate, stags will have access to an account through GiveCampus, allowing them to share a unique campaign link. This link, shared on social media or sent to family and friends, will take potential donors to that student’s page where their donations will be tracked.

Students who become advocates can also create their own match or challenge initiatives.

“Offering a Match means that you’ll give a number of dollars for every dollar or donor that the campaign receives up to your specified maximum gift amount,” Fairfield’s advocacy dashboard states. “Offering a Challenge means that you’ll give a gift if the campaign receives a certain number of donors or dollars.”

The third way for student advocates to contribute to the day of giving is by creating a personal plea for donations. Leading up to STAGiving, students can create a video message in which they share their excitement about the day and encourage others to give. Approved videos will be posted on the campaign page.

Even those who cannot make a monetary donation are encouraged to spread the word about STAGiving Day through social media and other means. The university has provided a social media toolkit to make posting about the day of giving easier. Center for Social Impact Director Quan emphasized the importance of STAGiving for raising awareness in addition to money.

“STAGiving Day helps us to get the word out there about the Center for Social Impact’s work,” Quan said.

Aside from being an opportunity to raise funds, STAGiving provides students with opportunities to have fun and get involved on campus. Events on campus this STAGiving Day include trivia on golf carts run by Fairfield’s Student Alumni Association (SAA). Six golf carts will be driving around campus bringing students to and from class. While riding in the carts, students will be quizzed by SAA members about funding and the importance of giving back.

Last year’s STAGiving raised more than $3.6 million dollars for the university community, with the average gift being around $100. This year, the school hopes to raise even more money to make 2024 the biggest STAGiving Day yet.

About The Author

Junior | Assistant News Editor | Digital Journalism Major | Editing and Publishing Minor

Junior | Assistant News Editor | Digital Journalism Major | Editing and Publishing Minor

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