Carleton’s Giving Tuesday smashes goal

Carleton’s fifth-annual Giving Tuesday campaign significantly surpassed its goal on Nov. 28.

The objective heading into the day was to raise $250,000 for Carleton projects, but donors raised just over $386,000 this year.

Giving Tuesday is an annual global event for people to donate to charities, clubs, and projects. It normally takes place the week after Black Friday, following American Thanksgiving. For Carleton, it involved over 1,000 projects and causes this year, which included a wide range of topics, from science and engineering projects to sports teams.

According to Ryan Davies, Carleton’s director of advancement communications, Carleton got involved in the first Giving Tuesday in Canada in 2013. He said the university raised $33,000 then, $76,000 in 2014, $122,000 in 2015 and $243,000 in 2016.

“We just thought it’d be a great chance for supporters at the university and supporters of our students to participate in Giving Tuesday in a way that sort of reflected their interest in Carleton,” Davies said. “It’s a spot where individual student groups and student projects can find a home and participate in fundraising.”

Some teams had projects and tables on display at the University Centre Atrium, educating students and sponsors about the campaign and encouraging them to donate. 

Students and supporters were encouraged to donate through FutureFunder, Carleton’s online crowdfunding website. According to Davies, the donations on the crowdfunding website were matched until the $250,000 goal was met.

“I think our success of Giving Tuesday is really made possible because of the crowdfunding platform that we have,” Davies said.

When the platform launched in 2013, Davies said Carleton workers had to go around and find people to participate on the crowdfunding site.

“We have lots of student groups coming to us because they sort of recognize the potential of Giving Tuesday, but they also recognize what this effort can do in terms of getting the word out,” he said.

The Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) and the Carleton Alumni Association also made donations to certain projects and causes. According to CUSA president Zameer Masjedee, CUSA helped to contribute a total of $6,000 to Giving Tuesday causes.

In the Atrium, Carleton varsity swim team members Robynn Allan and Ward Verschaeve said they were there to raise awareness about the team and to encourage donations. They were among other sports teams such as the women’s rugby, figure skating, and rowing teams. According to FutureFunder, the swim team’s funding goal was to raise $15,000, but they raised nearly $34,000 with the help of matched donations.

“We’re trying to subsidize the costs of going [on] away trips,” Allan said. 

Davies pointed to an increasing culture of philanthropy and donations as a result of Giving Tuesday. 

“They’re new opportunities, they’re sort of once-in-a-lifetime chances to do something really unique, to add on to your educational experience,” Davies said. “I think that students and donors and supporters really see the value of those type of experiences.”

Photo by Aaron Hemens