To acquire wisdom, one must observe

Giving Tuesday donations nearly double, President debunks rumors

The university raised $865,000 from 2,559 gifts this Tuesday, a 60.2 percent increase in gifts and 97.4 percent increase in donation amount from last year’s $438,000 from 1,597 gifts, President Ron Liebowitz told The Brandeis Hoot in an interview.

“They [the Giving Tuesday committee] engaged and involved the alumni board leadership,” Liebowitz told The Hoot. “They brought this to the alumni board for the first time, I believe, and they made an incredible outreach to their classmates, friends and so forth. So it was much more of a concerted effort and focused. But it’s incredibly impressive.”

Liebowitz said that Giving Tuesday was “unrelated” to the university re-opening at noon on Tuesday, debunking rumors that the school stayed opened to support donation events. The school’s delayed opening was due to “snowfall during the morning hours,” according to a text message sent to the Brandeis community. 

“I don’t have any input into the university closing,” Liebowitz told The Hoot. “Students were writing me emails, but we have a team that starts consulting with the weather the day before. They keep me informed but I didn’t make the decision.”

Most of the donors came from the United States, with the second and third highest number of donors coming from China and Canada respectively, according to the Giving Tuesday website. The number of donations increased by 130.2 percent from the 1,099 gifts in 2017. 

The university surpassed its goal of 1,948 donors, unlocking an additional $100,000 from Madalyn Friedberg, President of the Brandeis National Committee and Board of Trustees member. Other challenges that were met included the Parent and Families Match in which $10,000 were matched, the First-Time Undergraduate Alumni Matching Gift in which $5,000 were matched and the Heller School Donor Challenge in which $1,200 was matched, according to the website.
Donors could select what cause their donation would support including particular clubs, teams, departments, programs, professors, scholarships or The Brandeis Fund. Online gifts had to be a minimum of $5, and those who wanted to donate early could visit http://giving.brandeis.edu/early or call at 781-736-4000.

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