The Class of 2018 Giving Campaign, scheduled to launch Sept. 18, encourages graduating fourth-year students to leave their mark on the University by donating to programs and initiatives that have affected them.
“For the entire year, we basically ask people to reflect on their time at U.Va. and make a meaningful contribution back to anywhere they want at U.Va.,” said Adib Choudhury, a fourth-year Commerce student and co-chair of the Class of 2018 Giving Campaign.
The Class Giving Campaign allows students to donate directly to a contracted independent organization, school or athletic team of their choice.
Tuition accounts for 17 percent of the University's operating expenses, while state funds cover an additional 6 percent. Private donations, many from alumni, make up the remaining 76 percent.
The Class Giving Campaign will begin to accept donations Sept. 18. Students will be able to donate cash through Venmo or online through the Giving Campaign website, which is still in development.
“Our goal is not necessarily dollars raised — while we think that’s important, we want to make sure that we’re engaging with as much of the class as possible, so it’s based on participation rate,” Choudhury said. “We want to get a high number of participants. That’s our goal — engaging with different [contracted independent organizations], all the different schools, athletics — just making sure that people are represented and it’s pretty much whatever they want to give back to.”
The campaign emphasizes that students should give whatever they’re able to.
“We’re not looking for people to donate thousands of dollars,” Choudhury said. “Our recommended amount is $20.18, since we’re the Class of 2018. And even if you don’t think that $20.18 is meaningful or will make a big difference, the hope is that by staying in touch with U.Va. and giving back, you will stay engaged as an alum and give back to this place and get to see how this space evolves.”
Going forward, the campaign intends to engage with each of the University’s schools and various CIOs to encourage meaningful donations.
“The goal of class giving is not to make a big impact in one place — it’s for everyone to make a meaningful contribution to something they feel a connection to,” Choudhury said. “So more, smaller impacts around the school that will all add up and keep you engaged as an alum as you transition from fourth-year into the real world.”
However, some students are not sure if they intend to donate to the Class Giving Campaign. Fourth-year College student Beth Watson does not have plans to donate to the campaign, but hopes to donate to “some facet” of the University in the future.
“I’m resistant to give more money to the school when I already feel so indebted to my parents,” Watson said. “At the same there, there are departments and there are CIOs that have made a really big impact on my time here, and I want to show my gratitude and my appreciation for all that I’ve gotten from them.”
Emma Kulow, a fourth-year College student and Trustees committee chair, views the campaign as an opportunity to show reciprocity rather than just donating money.
“I think that the Class Giving Campaign is really cool because you can identify what parts of U.Va. you want to give to,” Kulow said. “It’s where I want my money to go, and I can give back to a part of the school that has really done a lot for me.”