The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Philanthrophy Day throws pies to educate students

senior Daniel Hood pies professor of English Jim Hood in the face (Jack Sinclair)

If there’s anything that says “philanthropy” better than a pie to the face, I haven’t heard of it.

Welcome to Philanthropy Day, a new event that was held on March 16 which marked the point at which tuition and fees would “run out” without donations. Tuition and fees cover only 78 percent of Guilford’s costs, and March 16 was 78 percent of the way through the academic year.

“It’s a part of my duties to work with student fund raising, especially with the senior gift,” said Assistant Director of Annual Giving Jill Hayes ‘09. “But we had been missing the educational component. By senior year it’s too late to start thinking about how much donors help the school.”

In order to help establish that educational component by reaching students earlier than senior year, Hayes started looking at how other colleges do “tuition runs out” days, and the idea of Philanthropy Day was conceived.

Philanthropy Day included a wide range of events to help educate students on how big a role philanthropy plays at Guilford. Numerous signs dotted the campus, sharing various facts such as, “Archdale Hall is the College’s first LEED certified building. An anonymous gift partially funded the $800,000 renovation project,” and “Thanks to outside support, approximately 92% of Guilford students receive financial aid. Thank a donor today!”

Other engaging activities included a table where community members could write thank you letters to donors, group bike rides to highlight the senior gift of bikes for the campus bike shop, music by the Holly Creek Girls, and a special reception focused on staff and faculty appreciation.

However, the most popular event would have to be the opportunity to pie staff and faculty members in return for a $5 donation. I myself had the pleasure of nailing Assistant Director of Student Leadership and Engagement Steve Moran in the face with a pan full of whipped cream.

While some of the events might seem irrelevant to the idea of philanthropy, or unnecessary for communicating a serious message, Philanthropy Day succeeded in engaging the community in a way that was simultaneously both fun and meaningful. As a fundraiser, the event raised about $2,000, according to Hayes.

Important information about how Guilford relies on and uses philanthropy was the highlighted point of the day, with even the fun events including a reminder about how philanthropy affects Guilford. Moreover, the events got people involved, which is always something we need more of.

Beyond getting people involved, Philanthropy Day also educated students, and made them more aware of what it takes to run this school every year.

“Donors impact nearly every aspect of Guilford,” Hayes said. “I hope this got people thinking about all that, because Guilford itself is here because people donate to help the college run day-in and day-out. We should feel more connected to donors.”

After taking part in the first ever Philanthropy Day at Guilford College, I can say that I feel more connected to donors. I also feel more connected to the community and the college itself.

Educating people about something they might not necessarily be aware if is always a good thing. Finding a way to engage them and want to learn is better. That is what Philanthropy Day did.

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