Month of Giving exceeds goals

By Carolyn Conte | The Duquesne Duke

Duquesne recently concluded its first “Month of Giving” campaign which raised $142,114 to support University athletics, academics and financial aid.

The campaign, which ended Feb. 28, was called “Love4DU” and surpassed its goal of 544 donors, instead receiving gifts from more than 900 alumni, friends, faculty and staff. All donations go toward Duquesne’s “Annual Fund,” which is managed by the Office of Annual Giving.

Donors were engaged through social media, emails, post cards and phone calls, explained Cheryl Karashin, director of the Office of Annual Giving. One donor, David Jakielo, University alumnus and assistant marketing communications manager at Duquesne, learned about the campaign through print, online and social media information.

Social media was important to the campaign, which gathered 1,768 posts, likes and shares throughout February, Karashin said.

Jakielo hopes that his contribution will help other students have positive experiences at Duquesne like his own. He said he sympathizes with the cost of education at Duquesne.

“Without Duquesne, I wouldn’t be where I am in my career, education and faith,” Jakielo said.

He made his donation in memory of Dan Zalenka, a Duquesne student who passed away, and directed his funds to Gamma Phi for “current students to reap the benefits.”

According to Duquesne’s website, Love4DU led to a 19 percent overall increase in the number of donations to the school. The number of donors who contribute to Duquesne each year can boost the University’s national ranking in publications such as The Princeton Review, and it can increase the significance of Duquesne degrees, according to Patricia Zappa, assistant director of the Office of Annual Giving.

Students signed and sent out 411 cards of gratitude for all alumni and friend donors. These signatures were gathered from students around campus on “Thank a Donor Day,” Zappa said, which was part of Student Philanthropy Week from Feb. 9 to 13.

The Office of Annual Giving helps raise money for several Duquesne programs.

“The Annual Fund is funded from our donors and friends and has an impact of every student’s time at Duquesne,” Zappa said. “Gifts of every size make a difference.”