The SGA passed a bill to renew the organization’s ability to fundraise for the Student Leader Scholarship through the University of Maryland’s annual Giving Day event during a virtual meeting Wednesday.
Giving Day, which is set to take place on March 3, is the “largest fundraising day for divisions, departments, units and groups” at this university, said Alon Sherman, the Student Government Association’s director of alumni and traditions.
Every year during Giving Day, the university raises money for the Student Leadership Scholarship, which rewards students for their leadership on the campus. The 24-hour event is “often championed and partnered by individual families,” Sherman said.
Giving Day is an opportunity for student groups to fundraise alongside the university. The funds raised during the event support scholarships for student leaders at this university, for example.
“It essentially raises money for student leaders on campus who are taking really strong leadership roles in clubs and organizations and general campus life and tries to reward them monetarily for that work,” said Ayelette Halbfinger, SGA business representative and deputy director of the communications committee.
In previous years, there was only one recipient of the scholarship. However, this year, the scholarship has received hundreds of applications, which Sherman guessed was “some kind of record.”
The bill, which has to be renewed annually, creates an opportunity for students from organizations and clubs across the campus to support and promote the scholarship.
“Anyone can donate to it, anyone can publicize it, anyone can run campaigns for it. This allows us to have a communications and philanthropy platform to raise funds,” Halbfinger added.
The SGA has supported fundraising for the scholarship since the first Giving Day in 2014. In the past, the body has promoted the event often through social media, such as Instagram bingos and spotlights of student leaders.
Josie Shaffer, the SGA’s director of student affairs, recalled the student spotlights for SGA-recognized clubs across the campus two years ago on Giving Day.
“I thought that was super personal,” Shaffer said. “I think that motivates more people to donate to it.”
During the meeting, SGA President Dan Alpert urged members to support Giving Day.
“We need to do our part to ensure that other students can be student leaders as well, without any financial boundaries,” Alpert said.