Ohio University

OHIO community raises record totals during Giving Day 2021

Published: April 30, 2021 Author: Staff reports

This story has been updated to include the final fundraising totals from Giving Day 2021.

OHIO Giving Day 2021 proved once again the resiliency of the Bobcat spirit, as Ohio University alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff and friends around the world joined together in their love and support, generously giving $479,639 through more than 2,300 gifts to scholarships, programs, and initiatives that are moving OHIO Forever Forward.

With support from 1,819 donors, 450 of whom made their first-ever gift to Ohio University, OHIO Giving Day 2021, held April 21, showed the limitless generosity of Bobcats. Building on the success of 2019’s inaugural Giving Day and 2020’s Bobcats Take Care campaign, this year’s Giving Day increased both the number of donations and the total dollars raised.

“It is my great honor to extend the gratitude of the entire Ohio University community after another successful Giving Day, which has quickly become one of the proudest days of the year for us,” said Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis. “Moments when we, as Bobcats, come together and share our triumphs, our vision for the future, and our stories are part of what makes this University a unique and transformative experience. Thank you to our donors for their generosity, and to all who shared their stories of impact on social media. You have our warmest gratitude.”

Donations made on Giving Day benefitted every college on the Athens campus as well as OHIO’s regional and extension campuses, strengthening everything from scholarships and academic and co-curricular programs to community outreach initiatives.

Monetary donations weren’t the only way Bobcats showed their love and support on Giving Day. At Baker University Center, the Student Alumni Board and the Cats’ Cupboard Steering Committee hosted a food drive during which students received a free Forever OHIO T-shirt in exchange for pantry items. By the end of the day, more than 777 pounds of food had been donated by 241 individuals.

“The day was a rousing success, especially considering that even the cold and snow didn’t stop a line of students waiting to donate to the food drive,” said Christine Noack, assistant director of development, leadership annual giving and student affairs. “Our main goal was to provide students with an alternate means of giving in a COVID-safe environment. As we move forward, we intend to increase the opportunities and events for our Bobcats, who showed their incredible and inspiring generosity.”

This year’s success was elevated by the many donors who contributed more than $83,000 in matches and challenges, maximizing the impact of each gift. Additionally, donors saw their gifts doubled, up to a certain dollar amount, during three power hours thanks to generous commitments from The Ohio University Foundation Board of Trustees and President Nellis and Ruthie Nellis, who announced a surprise $5,000 match in the evening to help the day finish strong.

“Giving day has shown the generosity of the Bobcat Nation, their dedication to providing the life-changing opportunities an OHIO education brings, and their inspirational stories of how OHIO has impacted their lives and their community,” said Nico Karagosian, vice president for University Advancement and president and CEO of The Ohio University Foundation. “The Ohio University legacy is one that is constantly evolving but has, at its core, an essential value of generosity, one which Bobcats everywhere have demonstrated to an overwhelming effect. We are excited to see the spirit of Giving Day continue every year, at every event, and even every day, forever.”