Last year the Colby community came together for Giving Day and raised more money by midnight on Feb. 27 than ever before.

This year, they took it to the next level.

While donors broke fundraising records on Giving Day, students wrote notes of thanks in Pulver Pavilion.

While donors broke fundraising records on Giving Day, students wrote notes of thanks in Pulver Pavilion.

Celebrated on the anniversary of the College’s 1813 charter signing, Giving Day is dedicated to fundraising and highlighting the role gifts play in the Colby experience. This year 6,538 alumni donors made gifts, triggering $100,000 more from a challenge gift. During the day Colby students shared cards of thanks with the donors who enrich the student experience here.

At the heart of Giving Day this year was a challenge gift from a generous Colby family that pledged $50,000 if 5,500 donors made gifts by the end of the day, $100,000 if 6,500 donors stepped up, or $250,000 if 7,500 donors contributed. With 6,538 gifts made by midnight Feb. 27, the Colby Fund met that second goal, securing the $100,000 bonus. It also meant Colby had more alumni donors as of the end of February than ever before for the third year in a row.

“We were absolutely blown away by the record-breaking generosity and goodwill of alumni, parents, and friends on Giving Day,” said Director of the Colby Fund Carolyn Kimberlin. “This success is a reflection of their shared desire to make Colby an increasingly exceptional place to live and learn.”

While alumni were coming together to support the Colby Fund, a series of events on campus raised awareness among students of the role philanthropy plays in the Colby experience. Students wrote hundreds of thank-you notes to donors (see them online at colbygivingday.tumblr.com), and Alumni Council members offered career advice to students, underscoring the fact that alumni give back to the College in many different ways.

Giving Day was instituted in 2014 to inspire alumni to give earlier in the year. Since then, alumni giving by Feb. 27 has increased 30 percent. Securing more gifts in February means that there are more funds available to support students this spring and summer and that extra attention can be paid to gaining first-time donors in the final months of the fiscal year.