In a year filled with societal challenges unlike any other in modern history, the Fresno State community banded together once again on Nov. 17 to help fund the programs and initiatives that empower students for success.

Fresno State’s fourth annual 24-hour, online Day of Giving inspired 1,558 individual donors from 43 states and six countries to support scholarships, research, programs and student experiences. The number of participants was the third-highest total since the University’s Day of Giving tradition began in 2017.

Preliminary estimates show the amount contributed was $457,166, the third-largest total in the past four years. In 2019, the campaign rallied record-highs of 2,161 individual donors for a total of $550,366.

“With everything that is going on in our world, it is inspiring to see how strong the bond is between Fresno State and our thousands of supporters,” said Paula Castadio, vice president for University Advancement. “Each and every person who was motivated to participate with a gift of any size on this special day demonstrated the value and impact of Fresno State in the Valley and all over the globe. Our University and students are truly grateful.”

This year, the in-person rallies and events typically hosted across campus to engage participation transitioned to virtual events such as college tours, demonstrations and an alumni trivia happy hour. Individual donors included alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents and friends of the University. Gifts came in from as far away as Spain, France, Great Britain and Iceland.

The digital fundraising campaign encouraged donors to make a gift to one of Fresno State’s eight schools and colleges or the campus division or program of their choice.

Many donors gave multiple times to support what they are passionate about, resulting in 2,165 total gifts across various colleges, departments and program areas of Fresno State.

All funds raised will be used for programs and initiatives to help fulfill Fresno State’s mission “to boldly educate and empower our students for success.” Donations to the campaign will make possible benefits for students such as scholarships, internship programs, research and improved learning spaces.

A live leaderboard tracked the money raised throughout the day, providing minute-by-minute updates on the campaign’s website,

Day of Giving digital ambassadors — volunteers who helped push out the campaign’s message to their own networks via personal social media posts and emails to secure donors — created their own unique URLs to track their progress throughout the campaign.

The campaign was trending on social media throughout the day. Day of Giving posts on official Fresno State accounts received hundreds of thousands of impressions and engagements thanks to the excitement of fans, friends and ambassadors of the University posting on their own accounts to make this day a success. Dozens of students, alumni and community members participated in social media challenges, sharing their favorite memories from Fresno State, celebrating their favorite professors or offering advice to future Bulldogs.

Fresno State’s Day of Giving was born in 2017 as part of a growing national trend for dedicated giving days that have become popular at many universities across the nation.