The Clover Park Technical College Foundation received a boost to its emergency assistance programs for the 2016 holiday season, surpassing its fundraising goal of $2,500 as part of the worldwide #GivingTuesday event earlier this week.
This is the first year CPTC has participated in #GivingTuesday, which began in 2012 and celebrated its fifth year on Nov. 29. According to the website www.givingtuesday.org, “#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.”
For CPTC Foundation executive director Lyman Gifford, the event provided a perfect opportunity to promote student success and raise funds for the Foundation’s emergency assistance programs.
“We do a lot to help students through emergency assistance, so we’re trying to make sure we have sufficient funds to help in that category and program,” Gifford said. “In 2016, we have helped more than 200 students, and that help comes in the forms of funds like Holiday House and the Emerging Butterflies Fund that helps with basic needs for families like diapers and socks.”
Gifford and the Foundation staff set an ambitious goal of $2,500, and promoted the event online and around campus. The online giving form also included a menu where contributors could select where they wanted their donation to go. Options included winter heat, food for one week, socks and boots for children, holiday gifts for children, or other (with a note to specify). This helped ensure contributors knew exactly what kind of a meaningful difference their donation will make in the lives of CPTC students and their families this holiday season.
“More than 60 percent of students who receive assistance have either graduated or are still attending school, so it’s a pretty significant positive impact helping students be able to stay in school and complete their education,” Gifford said. “What colleges across the country have found is that little bit of help during an emergency makes a big difference. For us, our two biggest areas where we help students are in housing and utilities costs. So our whole end-of-year giving emphasis right now is on emergency assistance. That’s everything we’re focusing on.”
CPTC student and Foundation intern Chanel Cruz took a significant leadership role in the event planning and implementation.
“She was awesome,” Gifford said. “This was her project for this quarter, and it went really well.”
In terms of numbers, more than $2,000 came in by the end of the day Tuesday. And even more has come in since. As of Friday morning, 52 different donors have contributed $2,501. The Foundation staff established the goal knowing it would be a reach; needless to say, they are thrilled with the result.
“We talked to a lot of people, and the online portal was busy all day,” Gifford said. “People were engaged and excited, and we got a lot of first-time donors. We wanted a goal that stretched us a little bit but also was reasonable, and we felt like $2,500 was exactly that.”
With each dollar set to support student needs this holiday season, the Foundation hopes people will continue to contribute. The donation form will be available online through the end of the year.
“While #GivingTuesday is one day, it’s really launching our end-of-year giving,” Gifford said. “It’s not just about what came in that day, but what comes in for our year-end giving to provide emergency assistance to students.”
To donate to the CPTC Foundation’s emergency assistance funds as part of the #GivingTuesday event, click here.