Pitt Day of Giving raises $2.4M, down 19% from last year


TPN File Photo

A pile of cash.

By Elizabeth Primrose, Senior Staff Writer

These numbers were updated Wednesday morning at 1 a.m. 

The seventh annual Pitt Day of Giving — a 24-hour fundraising initiative — took place all day Tuesday. This year’s PDoG raised $2,405,864, down about 19% from last year’s event, which raised $2,956,566. 

A total of 9,450 donors contributed this year, while last year’s PDoG event had 11,046 donors. Starting at midnight on Tuesday, organizations had 24 hours to collect donations online. 

Pitt affiliates and organizations spent Tuesday encouraging supporters to donate to their initiatives via social media. The donations have six main competition categories — Areas of Greatest Priority, Schools & Colleges, Places, Experiences & More, Pitt Alumni Association, Pitt Athletics and Student Organizations.

The Areas of Greatest Priority category included the General Scholarship Fund, the Student Emergency Assistance Fund and the Pitt Fund. The Schools & Colleges category consisted of schools within the University, such as Pitt Nursing and Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. This category also included Pitt’s regional campuses in Bradford, Greensburg and Johnstown.

The Places, Experiences & More included different organizations part of the University, such as Student Affairs, Heinz Memorial Chapel and the University Library System. The Pitt Athletics category included funds such as the Band Championship Fund and the Football Championship Fund.

Student Organizations included groups such as Club Cheerleading, Hillel Jewish Student Union and the Hydroponics Club.

According to Jake Strang, assistant vice chancellor of alumni and annual giving, PDoG hosted in-person events and activities on the main campus as well as regional campuses. 

Main campus programming for PDoG included a puzzle hunt with 15 locations across campus and a large PDoG puzzle in the Alumni Hall Connolly Ballroom. PDoG and the Pitt Alumni Student Network also hosted a party Tuesday night in the Connolly Ballroom in Alumni Hall. 

Abby Dean, president of the Blue and Gold Society, helped plan the party. She said she talked to various Pitt entities, such as the Office of Sustainability, to spread the word about PDoG. 

“Social media played a big role, but we’ve also just been talking to different student groups about what philanthropy means,” Dean, a senior biological sciences major, said. “Philanthropy is not just about giving money, but it’s also about giving your time and giving your talents.”

The Catholic Newman Club won the Student Organizations category with 865 gifts raising $8,600. It won a $5,000 bonus for placing first in the category.

The Pitt Rowing Club placed second in the category, winning a $2,500 bonus. It raised a total of $8,463 through 632 gifts. 

Delaney Sniffen, president of Pitt Rowing, said the team is “exceedingly grateful” for the donations the club received from alumni, family and friends. 

“It’s amazing that year after year, our support system answers the call on PDoG to help us cover travel, equipment and event expenses,” Sniffen, a junior rehabilitation science major, said. “I think it’s because our athletes speak very highly of their experience on the team, and alumni remember it fondly.” 

Pitt Men’s Rugby Club won a $1,500 bonus for placing third, raising $5,015 from 244 gifts. Pittsburgh Electric Propulsion placed fourth, winning a $1,000 bonus with a total of 211 gifts raising $1,938.

Along with donations, organizations could win prize money through various challenges. These included the Power Hour Challenges, which gave participants in the categories of Schools & Colleges, Student Organizations, Pitt Athletics and Places and Experiences & More the chance to win an extra $1,000 if they received the most donations in their respective hour.

Pitt Rowing Club won the Power Hour challenge for Student Organizations; Pitt Greensburg won the challenge for Schools & Colleges; Osher Lifelong Learning Institute won it for Places, Experiences & More; and Cheer, Dance & Mascot Championship Fund won it for Pitt Athletics. 

The Pitt Fund won the Areas of Greatest Priority category, raising $33,554 with 559 donors. 

The Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences received a $10,000 bonus for winning the School & College category with 746 gifts.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute received a $10,000 bonus for winning the Places, Experiences & More category with 372 gifts.

Cheer, Dance & Mascot Championship Fund won the Pitt Athletics category, with 598 gifts raising $15,566. It received a $6,000 bonus for placing first.

The Pitt Alumni Association raised more than $28,000 through more than 300 donors.

According to Strang, anyone could donate to the organizations and funds using the PDoG site. He also said individuals could donate nonperishable food items to the Pitt Pantry.

“The best thing about Pitt Day of Giving is that everyone can participate from anywhere in the world today,” Strang said. “Pitt students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, friends and donors, the entire Pitt Community ― near and far ― can get involved in Pitt Day of Giving by making a gift to the area or areas at Pitt that mean the most to them.”

Dean felt “ecstatic” that so many people from around the world participated in PDoG. She said she liked taking part in PDoG because she could meet so many students on campus she had not met.

“There were so many faces that I haven’t seen before coming in and taking part in philanthropy, which is really exciting,” Dean said. “We wanted it to be such a campus-wide experience to connect students. I think the most rewarding thing for me is seeing students from all walks of campus coming together to celebrate Pitt.” 

Editor’s Note: The Pitt News participated in Pitt Day of Giving in the Student Organizations Category.