March 09, 2017

Inaugural Day of Giving exceeds expectations

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Thanks to hundreds of donors, Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s inaugural Day of Giving was a resounding success. 

During the unique 24-hour fundraising campaign, which took place March 1-2, donors were invited to directly support an area on campus meaningful to them. The campaign has raised $341,121– shattering the initial goal of $150,000. The SIU Day of Giving website, showing present totals and where funds were donated to, is at

“The Day of Giving was a success due to the hundreds of alumni, students, faculty, staff and supporters who realize the importance of philanthropy to the university’s success,” Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell said. “These donations not only help the university with key projects, but reveal the deep affection that many have for SIU Carbondale.” 

Jim Salmo, vice chancellor for development and alumni relations and CEO of the SIU Foundation, said the funds donated will make an immediate impact on the areas designated by donors. Another purpose of the campaign was to also attract new donors, he said. 

“This event exceeded our expectations and is a great beginning,” Salmo said. “We look forward to this being an annual event that continues to grow.” 

Rebecca Renshaw, who oversees communications for the SIU Foundation, said students played a pivotal role in the event’s success. Information booths were set up at Morris Library, the Student Center and in the Faner Hall breezeway. A video highlighting campus lake produced for the Day of Giving had nearly 100,000 views, she said. 

Renshaw said that a student who was listening to a presentation at Morris Library told her, “I just want to give back to SIU.” The history major, who didn’t give his name, then opened his wallet and donated the only bill he had -- $20 – and walked away. 

“It was really moving,” Renshaw said. 

The event would not have been successful without more than 70 ambassadors, including about 40 students who shared fundraising progress and messaging on various social platforms. Students who called alumni raised more than $6,000 over the 24-hour period, she said. 

Of the 1,334 gifts, the largest total amount from multiple donors, $106,105, was raised for campus lake. The participating group with the greatest number of donors was the SIU School of Law. 

The Day of Giving “really made a positive impact on the entire campus for students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community,” Renshaw said. “It’s rare you can get everyone collectively supporting one effort.”