In February of 2019, the Finlandia Alumni Board (FAB) determined it wanted to give back to current students in a meaningful way. The FAB, led by president Monica Hill (’76), ultimately decided to raise funds to support a Textbook Award, to be given out in the form of a gift certificate to North Wind Books to help offset the rising cost of textbooks. The best way to do this? Set up Finlandia’s first Giving Day.
Giving Days have become a popular fundraising tool for universities over the past five years. The goal being to raise as much money as possible in the span of one day. While most schools focus exclusively on fundraising, the FAB wanted to look at giving more broadly and encompass Finlandia’s vision of a learning community dedicated to academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service into the event.
“There are so many different ways for one to give besides monetarily,” said Olivia Myers, Coordinator of External Relations and Alumni Board liaison. “Giving Day 2019 was more focused on informing alumni of the different ways in which they could give back. For example, time is an extremely valuable commodity, as is experience. If an alumnus/a can share a bit of her or her time with a current or prospective student through an in-class presentation, Alumni Mentor Program, or Alumni Advocates program, that can be equally as valuable as a monetary donation.”
On June 19, 2019, Giving Day officially kicked off. A social media post went out every 90 minutes to keep people engaged, complete with fun videos such as Yooper Devin, Guess that Textbook Cost quizzes, and even a Coaches Coloring Challenge.
“More than anything we wanted this day to be fun; for people to take pride in having gone to Finlandia or for current students to take pride in attending,” said Myers.
After waiting a brief amount of time to see if any additional donations came in the mail, it was time to officially announce a number.
$8,945.49 raised by 67 total gifts in 28 hours.
Almost half of the gifts came in through Facebook with the other half predominately coming in through Finlandia’s website.
For current students, that means 35 will be chosen to receive a $250 Finlandia Alumni Association Textbook Award this coming semester.
“We want to thank all of the people who donated, shared, liked, commented, voted, and signed up for upcoming alumni opportunities,” said Myers. “I am always amazed at the support of the Finlandia community and Giving Day was no exception.”
Students interested in applying for the Finlandia Alumni Association Textbook Award may do so here until August 9. All full-time, degree-seeking students in good academic standing are eligible to apply. Students will be notified prior to the start of classes whether they are recipients.Tags: Advancement, Alumni, Financial Aid, Finlandia Alumni Board, Giving Day, Olivia Myers, Scholarships, textbook award