Match and challenge gifts needed for Day of Giving

Believe in USAO Day of Giving

Match and challenge gifts needed for Day of Giving


By Connor Cheek

September is around the corner and the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma is gearing up for its second annual Day of Giving, “Don’t Stop Believe’n,” scheduled for Sept. 12.

“The Day of Giving is essentially a modern-day telethon. We set a donation goal and spread the word beforehand. Then, on the actual day, we hold events to encourage gifts from current donors while trying to garner new ones.” said Cassandra Ersland, director of development.

The first Day of Giving, themed “Believe in the Feave,” launched with a goal of gaining 110 donations within 10 hours. USAO received more than 300 gifts, totaling $37,504, for student scholarships and university programs. Nearly 33 percent of these gifts were from first-time donors, an achievement especially important to Ersland.

“Most people are afraid to give because they can’t give a huge amount. We wanted people to understand that any gift, no matter the size, is important because the small gifts add up very quickly,” said Ersland.

After the success of the inaugural event, Ersland has placed 2017’s goal higher than the previous year. “We want to raise funds from at least 350 individual gifts this year. It’s a bigger goal, but we think we can reach it.”

Match and challenge gifts are critical to success.

“People are more likely to give if they know their donation will be doubled by a match or if projects they care specifically about could win extra funds based on a challenge. Last year, we had a challenge gift between divisions where the one with the most individual donations would receive an extra $500. One of the math professors told all of his classes about the challenge and sent them to my office to donate. The challenge encouraged the students to give, and the Science and Physical Education Division won the challenge.”

Donors can consider maximizing their gift’s effectiveness by making it a match or a challenge. For more information, contact Cassandra Ersland at 405-574-1393, or email