Concordia College’s Office of Advancement has prepared for this year’s November Giving Day, the biggest fundraising event of the year which takes place on November 18.
Giving Day is an annual event that takes place in the Advancement Office and Alumni Relations building on campus.
During Giving Day all monetary gifts for student scholarships are matched by the Concordia College Board of Regents. Gifts made by young alumni (those who graduated from 2017-2021) are triple matched, said the college’s website.
To make this possible, professional staff members and student workers reach out to alumni, building connections and hoping to inspire donations.
Katherine Halvorson and Rachel Stauffer are two instrumental people in this event. Both work in the advancement office. Halvorson as the director of annual giving and Stauffer as the assistant director of annual giving. Both of them are excited about this event.
Giving Day is not only about the administrative side of things; it is mainly for the students and the donors.
Giving Day will have a bigger presence on campus this year. This year’s bigger presence takes form in the event: Giving Day Cafe. This event will bring together alumni and friends with the students they’re helping attain the Concordia experience, said Halvorson.
“Scholarships allow me to focus on my studies and life instead of worrying too much about how I’m going to pay for college,” said Tegan Marty, a sophomore exercise science major.
Without her scholarships, she might have considered other education opportunities, said Marty.
Marty is not alone in that sentiment that scholarships take some stress away. Receiving scholarships is helpful to many other students as well. Almost all students at Concordia receive scholarships, said Stauffer.
This is Stauffer’s first year seeing Giving Day through from the very beginning to the very end. She loves working with students and is very passionate about education. It’s uplifting to see how many others are too, said Stauffer.
Stauffer added she thinks that it is amazing to see who all is involved in making this possible.
Generosity is important all year, said Halvorson. But now is the time when donors are making their biggest gifts, inspired by the dollar-to-dollar match.
To her, giving day is the day when Cobbers are generous, said Halvorson. Everyone who is willing and able to make their biggest donation.
Her favorite Giving Day memory is from last year. One of her coworkers brought in their son, Wyatt. Wyatt dumped out all the coins from his piggy bank because he wanted to help Cobbers, said Halvorson.
Others go so far as to come to the advancement office and personally walk their gifts in.
Alumni and friends are excited to donate, not only because they love Concordia but because they want to support the students, said Stauffer.
Having this event makes the Concordia experience possible for some students that otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend Concordia, and relieves some of the financial burden for others.
“Cobbers can explore possibilities and opportunities that will have a transformational effect on their own lives and the lives of people in their family, communities and beyond,” said the college’s website.
Last year, Giving Day funded more than 1,000 scholarships for students in need, said Halvorson.
This event has had such a positive impact on student scholarships, that even COVID could not stop them from hosting Giving Day the previous year.
During the height of the pandemic, on last year’s Giving Day they raised half a million dollars. Because circumstances are somewhat better, they have different financial goals this year. But the main goal is still the same: to build lasting connections with donors.
Speaking financially, they hope to fully match the $200,000 offered up by the board of regents, and to surpass the half a million dollars raised last year, said Halvorson.