Cornellians raise the bar with Giving Day challenges

Members of the Cornell Club of Arizona with a banner

A big part of Cornell Giving Day is the friendly competition. On Giving Day 2019, March 14, the challenges were hot—right down to the wire thanks to a new Raise the Bar Challenge.

With one minute remaining, at 11:59 p.m., the School of Industrial and Labor Relations surpassed its donor total from 2018, ensuring that each of 20 colleges and units received gifts from more donors than on Giving Day 2018.

The first college over the Raise the Bar line was the Graduate College, earning $2,000 in bonus shortly after 2 p.m. With each subsequent college or unit over the line, the bonus for all went up $150. When ILR crossed the finish line at the very end of the 24 hour period of giving, each college and unit received a $4,850 bonus, thanks to an anonymous donor.

Raise the Bar Challenge leaderboard

Besides this new challenge, plenty of tried-and-true Giving Day challenges unlocked bonus funds.

Individual challenges

  • First Gift Challenge: Emily Carr ’21 directed $2,000 in bonus to Athletics and Physical Education by making her gift at 12:00 a.m.
  • 314th Gift: In honor of Pi Day, March 14, Young Kim ’20 unlocked $2,00o for the College of Engineering.
  • 1865th Gift: In honor of Cornell’s founding year, Christopher Dunford ’86 unlocked $2,000 for the College of Veterinary Medicine.
  • 3141st Gift: Continuing the Pi Day celebration, Vignesh Gnanasekaran ’20 unlocked $2,000 for the College of Engineering.
  • Last Gift Challenge: Jonathan Ong-Siong ’19 unlocked $2,000 for the College of Engineering by giving at 11:59 p.m.

Social media challenges

  • Young Alumni Facebook Page Challenge: Katrina James ’96 unlocked $1,500 for the College of Human Ecology with her randomly-selected  post.
  • Alumni Association Facebook Page Challenge: Julie Zagars ’94 unlocked $1,500 in bonus for the School of Hotel Administration with her randomly-selected post.
  • LinkedIn Group Challenge: Anne Marie Mitchell MBA ’18 unlocked $1,500 with her randomly-selected comment on the Cornell University Alumni Network LinkedIn group Giving Day post.
  • #CornellGivingDay Photo Challenge: Julie Zagars ’94, who was on point with her social media throughout the day, unlocked $1,500 for the School of Hotel Administration with the most exuberant display of Big Red spirit.

Geographical challenges

  • Red, White, and Blue Challenge: Gifts came in from all 50 U.S. states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, unlocking $2,000 in bonus funds for undergraduate scholarships.
  • Big Red Global Challenge: Gifts came in from more than 50 countries, unlocking $2,000 in bonus funds for undergraduate scholarships.

"Big Red Global Challenge" graphic

Leaderboards

In overall competition, Athletics and Physical Education was first in dollars raised (more than $2,700,000) and most gifts (more than 5,200). The Class of 1991 raised the highest dollar amount (more than $449,000), while the Class of 2019 gave the highest number of gifts (more than 940).

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