Large donations draw a lot of attention, and certainly support Robinson’s numerous initiatives. But smaller gifts are just as important, especially when members of the Robinson community rally to support a department or program. That’s what Georgia State Day is about: teamwork and shared excitement over any size contribution.
One of the most effective strategies for drumming up involvement on Georgia State Day is a challenge gift. Two types of challenge gifts are possible for a faculty member, alumnus, or other Robinson connection to make:
- Through a match challenge, a donor pledges to meet gifts to a unit dollar-for-dollar up to a specified amount.
- Through a participation challenge, a donor pledges to make a donation if a unit receives a specified number of gifts.
Stephen Shore, Kenneth Black, Jr. Chair of the Department of Risk Management & Insurance (RMI), issued a $2,500 match challenge that was met fairly quickly. Upon completion, gift challenges roll off the Georgia State Day web page, allowing traction for unreached goals. He chipped in another $500 to keep the challenge visible, and the momentum going. The department hit the new goal by the end of day.
WomenLead typically performs well on Georgia State Day, and hit a home run in 2020. Alumna Neda Barqawi (EMBA ‘10, DBA ‘14) spearheaded a $25,000 match challenge, resulting in more than $50,000 to establish a new program sector: WomenLead in Technology.
“Dollars are important, but we measure Georgia State Day success based on participation, too,” said Amanda Pinney, assistant director of development at Robinson. “The fact that more than 125 different people gave to WomenLead to help meet that challenge was really inspiring.”
While WomenLead is always popular, other college units stepped up on Georgia State Day, too. The Department of Management executed a particularly creative plan to encourage fundraising.
Pinney and Kay Bunch, instructor of management, partnered with alumni to produce a video. In the video, Carl McCray (B.B.A. ’16), a human resources manager at Delta Air Lines; Michelle Randles (B.B.A. ’20), an executive assistant at InHealth Services and Systems; and Ryann Sprague (B.B.A. ’20), director of social media at SHRM-Atlanta, spoke about their academic experience and its impact on their careers. The video participants shared the piece across their professional networks, resulting in $1,200 in donations.
Students are a critical component of Georgia State Day as well. Even if they give as little as five dollars, they get a fun introduction to philanthropy. “That’s the heart of Georgia State Day,” Pinney said. “Interacting with donors of all types and all ages on one day.”