Giving Tuesday

By Lauren Reichenbach, Co-Managing Editor/Copy Editor


EWU is gearing up for its fourth annual Giving Tuesday. The event, which will be held on Dec. 1, was described as “a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world,” according to Pat Spanjer, annual giving director.

Giving Tuesday is a day for EWU faculty, students and alumni to reach out and give back to their community. Everyone is encouraged to bring joy to others on Giving Tuesday by helping neighbors, volunteering at non-profits or completing other small acts of kindness that could help someone else out. 

When EWU began the event in 2016, it was called Giving Joy Day. The university’s two goals were to: 1. Raise $100,000 for student scholarships and 2. Encourage EWU students to spread joy throughout the community in ways which were meaningful to them.

According to Spanjer, the outcome of that first year was beyond what the university could have imagined. Students were sharing many stories about how they reached out to people or businesses in need. EWU also raised nearly $275,000 for their scholarship funds. 

Donation jar set up for Giving Joy Day. Much of the money raised on Nov. 27, 2018 will go toward student scholarships. (Courtesy of EWU’s Facebook page)

In 2019, Giving Joy Day was moved to EWU’s birthday, April 3, and Giving Tuesday was created and kept in its place. This year, Giving Joy Day and Giving Tuesday look slightly different.

“Due to the pandemic,” said Spanjer, “[online classes] created a tremendous need for Chromebooks and wifi access for students.”

With the help of many generous donations to the Student Emergency Fund on Giving Joy Day, the EWU Student Care Team was able to quickly help provide students with the technology they needed to complete online courses from home for spring and fall quarters. 

This year, EWU has decided to use Giving Tuesday as an opportunity to focus on scholarships close to endowment. According to Spanjer, at EWU, a scholarship is endowed when it reaches $25,000 in donated funds. Spanjer’s team identified five scholarships within $5,000 of being endowed and are hoping the community will be willing and able to help fulfill those needs.

“We decided Giving Tuesday would be the perfect day to inspire our community to finish up the year by helping us finish off those endowments,” said Spanjer. “After all, more than 1.5 million U.S. charities will be asking people to support their causes. Why wouldn’t our donors choose to prioritize making more scholarships available for more of our deserving students?”

“More than 1.5 million U.S. charities will be asking people to support their causes.” -Pat Spanjer, annual giving director

The five scholarships near endowment are: Chicana/o/x Studies Scholarship, ME/MET Alumni Scholarship, Bill Youngs Scholarship, Empowering Women Upward Scholarship, and the Anna K. Dvorak Memorial Scholarship.

“Once endowed,” said Spanjer, “the five featured scholarships will be awarded in perpetuity, which means forever. So you see, when you donate to endow any of these scholarship funds, you are making a difference for generations to come.”

Anyone interested in donating towards EWU’s Giving Tuesday can find more information here. Spanjer added that giving any amount to any fund, even if not one of the five endowment funds, can forever change the life of a student.