One Day for UK raises more than $2 million during 24 Hours of Giving

LEXINGTON, Ky. — For 24 hours on Wednesday, Sept. 16, more than 50 colleges, programs and causes at the University of Kentucky participated in the second annual university-wide giving day, “One Day for UK.”

Donors contributed 3,539 gifts for a total of $2,644,378, including a $1.75 million transformative gift. This year’s digital giving day more than doubled the first year’s total. Gifts came in from 47 states and the areas receiving the most gifts in three categories (large unit, small unit, and programs/centers) topped the “One Day for UK” leaderboards.

Giving challenges throughout the day drove excitement on social media as donors made gifts and posted photos to compete for additional dollars for the area they felt passionate about at UK. Of the colleges, programs, and causes participating, 20 of them won a challenge or place on the giving day leaderboard and 20 had matching gifts that doubled the impact of gifts all day long. UK faculty and staff also played a crucial role in “One Day for UK” — many made a gift online or through ongoing payroll deduction giving to contribute to the success of giving day.

“We were so impressed with the turnout and excitement among our colleges and programs at UK and all their supporters — alumni, friends, fans, parents, students, faculty and staff took part in the day. After postponing from April to September, we were not sure what to expect,” said Katie Sanders Vogel, associate director of annual giving. “’One Day for UK’ 2020 took place as we all continue to navigate challenges, but it was a testament to the important work that continues at UK and the donors who make an impact by supporting that work.”

The large unit leaderboard winner, the College of Engineering, raised $1,929,828 on “One Day for UK.” The college challenged alumni and friends to make a gift to help unlock three different challenges throughout the day and with more than 500 gifts, every challenge was unlocked, securing additional funds for scholarships, future study abroad opportunities, women in engineering, and important diversity initiatives.

The small unit leaderboard winner, College of Fine Arts, had a matching gift of up to $10,000 available on “One Day for UK.” With more than 100 gifts, the college was able to match dollar-for-dollar the entire matching gift amount and more for a total of $29,135 raised. Alumni and friends of the College of Fine Arts were actively engaged on social media, helping the college also win the lunch break challenge through the most likes of a Facebook photo.

The programs and centers leaderboard winner, Gaines Center for the Humanities, participated for a second year, more than doubling the number of gifts from 22 last year to 49 this year and increasing the dollars they raised to support the James P. Gray II Art Appreciation Travel Fund by more than sevenfold! The $11,510 given to the Gaines Center on “One Day for UK” will allow current and future Gaines Fellows to experience and appreciate contemporary art in a major U.S. city.

Beyond the excitement of challenges and matches, all of the day’s funds supported Kentucky Can: The 21st Century Campaign, the university’s comprehensive campaign to increase scholarship support, to fund innovative research, to advance health care, to strengthen the alumni network, to enhance UK’s athletic programs and to grow the university’s endowment.

“The Kentucky Can campaign continues to be very successful with $1.5 billion raised to date,” D. Michael Richey, vice president for philanthropy and alumni engagement, said. “‘One Day for UK’ is an important component of our comprehensive campaign effort — each giving day opens the door for more alumni to participate and get involved in making an impact at UK through giving.”

UK Philanthropy will continue to put on an annual “One Day for UK” event, showcasing all the opportunities to make a difference at UK.

“We are so grateful to our campus partners and to all our donors and supporters who made ‘One Day for UK’ a genuine success,” Vogel continued. “Especially at a time when we all need a reason to rally together.”

Kentucky Can: The 21st Century Campaign is a comprehensive campaign focused on increasing opportunities for student success, funding innovative research, improving health care, strengthening our alumni network, and supporting our athletic programs. For more information about Kentucky Can, visit kentuckycan.uky.edu.

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