A culture of philanthropy

Sycamores were called upon to support Indiana State during its inaugural Give to Blue Day in March — and they answered in record-breaking fashion.




When Indiana State supporters banded together to raise more than $430,000 in the largest single-day fundraiser in university history last spring, senior Samantha Edwards wasn’t just watching.

Edwards, who served on the Give to Blue Day student committee and interns in the annual giving office, helped create the event website and handled social media for the March 13 event. Hundreds of other current students followed the lead of nearly 1,700 donors in showcasing their Sycamore pride.

“This taught us that giving back to Indiana State starts now, as students,” said Edwards, a public relations major from Brazil, Ind. “We often think that we’ll wait until we have steady jobs and higher incomes to give back, but participating in Give to Blue Day helped us understand the importance of supporting our peers now.”

In the lead up to Give to Blue Day, ambassadors shared their reasons for supporting Indiana State on social media. In total, 346 Sycamores were social ambassadors, helping to raise more than $18,000 through social media alone for the day.

“Give to Blue Day continues to cultivate a culture of philanthropy by providing our alumni and friends the opportunity to show our strength in numbers, working toward one unified goal — supporting our university,” said Andrea Angel, vice president of University Advancement and CEO of the ISU Foundation. “I believe the success of Give to Blue Day relied on our donor-centric approach to the day by giving donors the option to designate their gift to areas that mattered most to them. Whether it is supporting student scholarships, providing experiential learning opportunities or backing Sycamore athletics, the Give to Blue campaign allows donors to give to areas they care about most.”

The day of the event, more than 970 alumni donated. Faculty, staff and emeriti made up 30 percent of the donors, contributing $60,000.

The Bridge the Gap scholarship, a new initiative that aims to provide need-based scholarships for students, was also a beneficiary of Sycamores’ generosity. This initiative received more than $100,000 from 104 donors whose gifts began making an impact on campus this fall.

“The Division of University Advancement has a mission to create a strong culture of philanthropy on our campus. Students are critical to the implementation of our mission,” Angel said. “Giving back is core to who we are at ISU, not only giving back to our community but giving back in support of our students. When students can help a peer continue their education, it is a powerful experience that will instill in them the importance of philanthropy for their entire life.”

Days of giving create a sense of pride for the institution encouraging students, alumni, parents, community members, faculty and staff to help the institution and support their fellow Sycamores.

“Give to Blue Day created a platform for Sycamores to show their pride for Indiana State University, while making a difference in our students’ lives through philanthropic support. We are excited to continue building on that momentum and engaging even more Sycamore supporters throughout the entire year. Every gift to the university positively impacts the student experience at Indiana State,” said Hilary Duncan, director of annual giving.

Philanthropy is so engrained at State that a student philanthropic group began this fall, thanks to the generosity of funding from ISU Foundation board chair Donald Dudine and his wife, Linda. The group will educate students about what it means to give back and how philanthropy has helped advance the university and the Sycamore experience.

“Not only did an amazing 252 current students make a contribution on Give to Blue Day, but they also played a pivotal role in the planning and implementation of the day,” Angel said. “A student philanthropy group was formed in advance of the day, which provided creative ideas to campus engagement, social media marketing and outreach to current students and recent graduates. I firmly believe the success of Give to Blue Day would not have been possible without the efforts of our current Sycamores.”



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