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Giving Day rings success for SAIT students

Over 24 hours on Tuesday, Oct. 30 the SAIT community raised $125,903, all of which will go toward supporting student success.

Over 24 hours, 442 gifts came in from staff, students, alumni and SAIT's extended family of supporters for a grand total of $70,403 — far surpassing our goal of $25,000 for Giving Day 2018.  Add in matching funds from generous donors and partners and SAIT raised $125,903 — all of which will go toward supporting student success.

"I am overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation! I always knew that our SAIT community was a caring one and seeing such an incredible level of support takes my words away," says Anna Kravchick, Annual Giving Officer for SAIT Alumni and Development.

The campaign kicks off

Giving Day kicked off at 10 am on Tuesday, Oct. 30 with a rally in the Irene Lewis Atrium. More than 250 employees and students came out to launch the drive. Our host, 2017 Outstanding Young Alumnus Albert Myles Mejia, led the crowd in a #SAITGIVES cheer that was broadcast online.

The first gift came in seconds later from alumna and SAIT employee Terri Eklund (AIM '05), who received the First Gift prize: a gift basket and gift card from The Tastemarket. And a flurry of contributions followed — the dollar total on our online thermometer rose steadily throughout the day as our generous supporters rose to the challenge.

Instagram post from @sait.sos

This Instagram post by the Students Offering Support (SOS) club sums up the spirit of SAIT's Giving Day.

First challenge met

In the day's first challenge, donor Ruth Richardson offered to match every dollar raised up to a total of $25,000 for the Student Success Fund. By 2 pm on Oct. 30, we had surpassed that goal and, as a result, achieved a total of $50,000.

But Giving Day didn't stop there! The campaign was propelled into overtime with a late announcement. An anonymous donor swooped in with the promise of another $25,000 in matching funds.

Then ... something big happens

Dr. Chirag Shah donated $10,000 to the Kunjana Rameshchandra Shah student endowment. With this donation, the endowment will now be able to provide more than $2,625 in annual award funding in perpetuity for SAIT students.

The #SAITGIVES message

One of the key goals of the campaign was to raise awareness of philanthropy at SAIT. This was accomplished online with the use of the hashtag #SAITGIVES and by blanketing colourful tags across the main campus and in the Culinary Campus and The Tastemarket in downtown Calgary. Word spread fast that Giving Day was coming and that the goal was to support SAIT students.

When Giving Day closed at 10 am on Oct. 31, there were 548 uses of #SAITGIVES across many social media platforms. Although we did not reach 1,000 hashtags — a goal set by challenge donor Regan Anderson — he still agreed to contribute $1,000 to the campaign.

"For me Giving Day is more than dollars and gifts" says Kravchick. "It's about showing your SAIT pride, on campus and beyond. It's about building a culture of philanthropy and making a real difference, together. We achieved all of this through Giving Day this year. It was truly amazing!"



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