A $14,000 gift hung in the balance.
If 14 percent of undergraduate students could be inspired to contribute a monetary donation during the third annual Philanthropy Week, Drake Trustee Joe Aiello, BN’80, and his wife Leslie, FA’79, agreed to contribute $14,000 for student scholarship support.
A total of 636 students participated in the February event, representing 19 percent of the undergraduate population—six percent higher than last year. The student population raised more than $3,000, bringing the week’s grand total to more than $17,000 thanks to the Aiello’s support.
Organized by the Student Alumni Association, Philanthropy Week aims to educate students about the impact of philanthropy and to encourage the habit of engagement and participation in philanthropic activities; this year’s celebration far exceeded its goal.
“Philanthropy Week helps to build a culture of philanthropy and it educates students about the value of all three tenets of philanthropy—time, talent, and treasure,” says Jessica Berger, assistant director for campus and student engagement for the Office of Alumni Relations. “We want students to understand how important their contributions are to the life and vibrancy of the Drake experience and want them to be in the habit of contributing annually so that, by the time they graduate, they want to give to Drake as an alum.”
As part of the program, Drake also hosts I ♥ Drake Week, which takes place in the fall and aims to encourage students to think about the reasons they love Drake.
“We hope I ♥ Drake Week will help students remember and recognize what makes Drake so special, so they can see the value of giving back in the future,” says Sarah Murray, vice president of marketing and public relations for the Student Alumni Association. “Tuition dollars only go so far. Alumni and friends contribute a lot in order to make Drake more affordable for students—and we hope the undergraduate population can understand that.”
The Student Alumni Association is also working on ways to recognize alumni and friends who have given back to Drake.
“We want donors to know that we recognize their contributions and that we’re making progress in educating the entire student body about what a powerful impact they can have on the campus,” says Murray. “Sharing donors’ stories and raising awareness will hopefully help instill a sense of philanthropy for generations to come.”