grant program

The season of giving

By AACC 21st Century Center Staff

Giving Tuesday allows community colleges to join a national movement to raise funds and awareness.

We’ve made it through Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. What’s left? Giving Tuesday. For community colleges, Giving Tuesday, taking place Nov. 28, is a chance to raise some money while reminding the community about the vital services two-year colleges provide.

City University of New York (CUNY) created a website that counts down the hours to Giving Tuesday, and that makes it easy for donors to give to the CUNY college of their choice. There’s also a video featuring CUNY students. The system is spreading the word far and wide on social media, too, and created a hashtag devoted to the cause: #CUNYTUESDAY.

Harper College in Illinois is hoping an original song will boost its fundraising efforts. Local singer-songwriter Kevin Prchal, who also works as Harper’s digital content specialist, wrote the song “Believe,” for the college’s Giving Tuesday initiative.  Harper’s goal is to raise $20,000 for student scholarships.

“It’s been kind of surreal to have my life outside of work intersect with my life at Harper, but I really think ‘Believe’ captures the heart of this place,” Prchal said in a release. “It’s a snapshot of what we’re all about and what we’re doing here.”

Prchal credits his own community college experience with turning his life around.

The song evolved into a music video which already has more than 8,000 views on Harper’s Facebook page.

Another Illinois college – Spoon River College (SRC) – has set goals of 250 individual gifts and $15,000 to be raised during Giving Tuesday, or GivingSPOONDay, as the college has dubbed it. The 24-hour campaign will be conducted through direct mail, peer-to-peer methods, online marketing and social media.

“Our goal is lofty, but reachable.  Every time we’ve bet on the generosity of our communities, we’ve been rewarded.  We hope that this time is no different,” SRC Foundation Director Colin Davis said.

Is your college involved in Giving Tuesday? Sound off at LinkedIn.

AACC 21st Century Center Staff

is a contributor to the 21st-Century Center.