UA’s Giving Tuesday Now supports students during COVID-19 pandemic

Giving Tuesday came six months early this year as millions of people worldwide generously donated to causes near to their hearts as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. In Alaska, hundreds of people opened their hearts and gave generously to support University of Alaska students through the COVID transition. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic made it necessary for UA to transition to online learning and remote work, the UA Foundation quickly worked with campus partners to adjust their annual giving communications to address the urgent needs of our students - supporting them financially through emergency funds. The annual giving program is operated as a collaborative effort with input and strategy from all three campuses, coordinated at the UA Foundation. It consists of broad based direct mail, email and phone communication with UA alumni and friends around the world.

In late March, the UA Foundation worked with the development departments at UAA, UAF and UAS to send a COVID-19 email update to alumni and friends that highlighted the opportunity to contribute to student support funds at each campus.

In addition, as a part of Giving Tuesday Now, usually celebrated in November, but this year held on May 5, 2020, the UA Foundation implemented a new digital crowdfunding platform. Each campus sent messaging via email and social media with links to their respective crowdfunding pages to raise awareness and funds for student support and food pantries. The student phonathon program also focused efforts on raising funds for campus student support funds. 

UAA shared the following statement from a recipient of the student support fund: “Because of COVID-19 I lost one of my jobs and my hours were severely cut in my second job. I was looking at not being able to pay my rent. Because of the aid I’ve received, I no longer have to worry about losing my housing. All I can say is thank you.”

The collaborative fundraising efforts raised just over $75,000 to help students across the UA system. These funds are held at the UA Foundation and administered by the campuses to provide much needed resources to students facing challenging times. 

During the COVID-19 outbreak, students were in need of resources to help with the quick transitions that resulted from the pandemic. These funds at UAA, UAF, and UAS provide financial assistance, aid for housing displacement, medical emergency relief, and more for students who experience unexpected hardships. Tlisa Northcutt, Chief Donor Relations Officer for the UA Foundation says “We are so grateful to the generous alumni and friends of the University of Alaska, who responded with care and concern for our students in this difficult time.” 

Read more about UA’s #GivingTuesdayNow: