Share your Wildcat love on Giving Day
Faculty, staff and alumni will have a chance to give back to the University of Arizona on the second annual Giving Day, slated for Feb. 14.
Giving Day is a campuswide effort coordinated by the University of Arizona Foundation to inspire alumni, faculty, staff and friends to support University causes they care about. Donors can give online for a 24-hour period beginning at midnight.
Past participants have seen Giving Day as an opportunity to express their gratitude while also generating connectivity, community and goodwill. Some received financial support as students and want to afford today's students with the same kind of support. Many take pride in campus programs and see their gifts as investments in excellence.
For alumni couple Chad and Dena Becker, their giving is connected to many things they hold dear – great friends, memorable experiences and their education, says Chad Becker, who is also a member of the University of Arizona Foundation board of trustees.
He and Dena met at the University and graduated in 1997 before becoming volunteers through the alumni chapter network.
Small gifts matter
"The success of Giving Day is measured by the participation rate, and the primary goal is to engage the maximum number of alumni in a single day," Chad Becker says. "Giving Day makes it easy to find opportunities to support some of the smaller programs and organizations across campus. For many of these groups, even the smallest of donations can have a significant impact on success and engagement."
During last year’s Giving Day, 2,326 unique donors from 41 states made Valentine's Day an outpouring of love for the University and those it serves. During a 24-hour period, supporters gave $3,770,398 to 247 funds supporting colleges and units, scholarships, Arizona Athletics, student support services and more. Of the gifts made online, 40% were for $100 or less and the average was $170.
Small gifts can lead to big impact, says alumnus Matt Brown, a native Tucsonan and assistant director of athletics for event management.
"Giving at even a micro level can impact the University as a whole," he says. "Many people think, 'How could I possibly help with such a small donation?' Well, it does help and makes a collective difference for the University community."
The University campus has left an indelible mark on his life, from attending sporting events as a kid to graduating with a degree in 1988 and then starting his first job at the University 23 years ago.
"From the people I have met to the experiences I have had, giving back is just a small, tangible way to say thanks to something that has given so much to me over the years."
Doubling a gift's impact
On Giving Day, donors can double the value of gifts given by contributing to initiatives with matching challenges found on the Giving Day website.
Alumnus Brad Butler sees Giving Day as an opportunity to explore the many ways he can support his alma mater.
Butler, who is a clinical associate professor of emergency medicine at the College of Medicine – Phoenix, completed his bachelor's and medical degrees at the University.
"I would not be the person I am today if I did not attend the University of Arizona," he says. "Not only am I a successful emergency physician, but I also met my wife, Stephanie, on campus." Stephanie Butler also holds two degrees from the University.
He notes that their two children are fourth-generation Wildcats.
Faculty and staff make a difference
Faculty and staff are important contributors to University fundraising. In 2022, employees gave $268,727 through the UA Cares workplace giving campaign, a 30% jump in the amount raised from the previous year. Of that amount, $148,464 went to University initiatives – as opposed to community charities – which was a 19.7% increase over the previous year.
Alumna Carmala Garzione , who received her master's and doctoral degrees from the University and now serves as dean of the College of Science, says she gives back in part because of the financial support she received as a geosciences graduate student.
"I am happy giving back to an institution that has provided me with incredible opportunities," Garzione says. "This year, I am giving to a scholarship fund in the College of Science that helps close the financial gap for students to be able to continue in their college education."
As vice president for enrollment management and dean of undergraduate admissions, alumna Kasey Urquídez understands the needs of University students.
"Giving Day is my chance to celebrate the students we admitted by supporting their futures in a very direct way. In my professional capacity, I can attest that these gifts make a difference in the experiences of our students and their success. This return on investment pushes me to give each year," Urquídez says.
She credits the generosity of other Wildcats for the opportunities she had as a student.
"I learned from the example of my college adviser and mentor, Patti Wylie, to give back to the community that has given me so much – and that propels me to participate in events like Giving Day."
Be an ambassador
Want to share your story about your time as a Wildcat and what you are supporting on Giving Day?
If you become a Giving Day Ambassador, you will receive special messaging throughout the campaign to share on social media and you'll be able to create a personal URL where your results will be tracked. Sign up on the Giving Day website.
"Similar to volunteer service, when you give, even if it's a nominal amount, the rewards are often greater than the gift itself as there is a sense of happiness and pride that comes with supporting others," says alumna Suzy Mason, who earned a master's in education and sports administration from the University in 1996. Today she is a senior associate director of athletics for operations.
"While you never really know the true impact others experience from your support in pursuit of their education and dreams, I can only hope that support plants a seed for them to give of their time or money in the future to help others."
Giving Day graphics and resources – including social media posts and Zoom backgrounds – are available for download on Box.