February 18 was one of the most exciting days so far this year for the University of Kansas community as thousands of Jayhawks participated in the fourth annual One Day. One KU. Every record for the 24-hour giving campaign was broken as donors contributed more than 5,400 gifts, totaling nearly $3.4 million to programs and initiatives across all KU campuses. This show of generosity represents a 67% increase in gifts and a 91% increase in dollars raised from last year’s record total.
Two factors contributed to this year’s success: 112 unique matches and challenges and 263 ambassadors. Donors provided more than $625,000 in matching and challenge gifts, which multiplied the benefits of contributions on the day. Ambassadors, volunteers who spread the word and encourage others to give, generated almost half of all gifts received. Donors from all 50 states and nine countries made gifts ranging from $5 to a $1 million contribution for the Alzheimer’s Disease Center. Monarch Watch, a nonprofit butterfly conservation organization based at KU, received more than $50,325 from 782 gifts.
The Jayhawk Nation showed their KU spirit throughout the day. Alumni participated in throwback and pet photo challenges on social media. Virtual experiences included a performance in the Bales Organ Recital Hall, a workout with Big Jay and Baby Jay and a conversation with actor, comedian and KU alumnus Rob Riggle. When asked about succeeding in his profession, Riggle responded with a quote from the Roman philosopher Seneca, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” It eloquently summed up the importance of One Day. One KU. — when presented with the opportunity, Jayhawks are prepared to give back.