WMU garners more than $1.5M during 24-hour Giving Day

Contact: Catherine VanDerMaas

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Donors of Western Michigan University from as far as Australia and from 46 states came together on WMU's third Giving Day to raise $1,555,471. The Universitywide effort was led by the WMU Alumni Association, which was recently re-instated by the school's Office of University Advancement.

"People are talking about WMU, and on Giving Day especially, they were talking about giving to WMU," said Vice President for University Advancement Kristen DeVries. "Giving is just the tool. It's the impact that we care about. Giving magnifies our ability to transform the lives of our students so they can transform the communities where they live, all around the globe."

The one-day giving campaign surpassed last year's efforts by more than 391% and is helping the University refocus its fundraising strategy.

"This campaign is about something bigger than us," DeVries said. "It's about the impact we can have regionally, statewide, nationwide and globally; whether it's working to solve the opioid crisis or fostering job creation in Kalamazoo."

In all, WMU Giving Day had 2,190 donors who contributed to more than 330 of the 2,000 funds available to give to at the University. WMU President Edward Montgomery, as one part of his engagement in the effort, allocated $50,000 to help create some friendly competition among the departments and colleges.

Different areas of the campus participated to raise money for their respective area, and the challenges were meant to boost the impact of giving. The winners of the challenges were able to apply the award money back to their area of campus for scholarships, technology enhancements or other various costs.

"What we're doing and what philanthropy is doing at WMU is way beyond campus impact," DeVries said. "Gifts made on WMU Giving Day will positively impact students for decades to come."

Learn more about WMU's third Giving Day results at wmualumni.org/givingday.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.