By Katie Mullen
The McGill community has spoken: for McGill24, McGill’s third annual day of giving held on Wednesday, March 14, donors representing all spectrums of the McGill community came together to raise $1,878,453 from more than 4,500 donations, setting a new single-day fundraising record for Canadian universities.
Since its launch in 2016, McGill24 has now raised more than $4 million to support causes across the University.
The 24-hour digital fundraiser, operated mainly on web and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, played off the sense of pride people feel about McGill and its impact on the world by asking alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends to reflect on initiatives at the university they would be most proud to support. Using the hashtags #McGillProud and #McGill24, McGillians around the world joined in the online conversation to share their enthusiasm, and turned to their computers, tablets and smartphones to donate.
“The global McGill community, from Sherbrooke Street, to San Francisco and all points in between, has once again demonstrated how much can be accomplished when people come together to support the causes they believe in,” says Vice-Principal (University Advancement) Marc Weinstein. “We are deeply grateful to all the graduates, students, faculty, staff and friends of McGill who gave so generously again this year. They’ve given us so many reasons to be McGill Proud.”
Participants in McGill24 gave generously in support of student programs, academic faculties, research initiatives, libraries and more, including particularly strong support for Athletics. For the second year in a row, the campaign featured challenge funds and matching gift commitments, which amplified the impact of every gift, as additional monies offered in advance by generous donors were released. Faculty and regional challenges, and matching gifts for young alumni and student projects on McGill’s crowdfunding platform, Seeds of Change, inspired people to join in. Parents, faculty and staff recorded remarkable participation, more than doubling the targets needed to meet their campaign challenges.
While the bulk of the campaign occurred online, there were also McGill24 celebrations in cities across the globe, reflecting the strength of McGill’s international reach. Thanks to the efforts of the McGill Alumni Association and volunteers worldwide, alumni and friends gathered in restaurants and pubs in locations as diverse as London, Los Angeles, Cairo, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, Sydney and Kuala Lumpur, and across Canada in places such as Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.
Meanwhile, on McGill’s campuses, students, faculty and staff were decked out in McGill24 gear and snapped photos in front of large, red McGill24 gift tags, which designated equipment and buildings made possible by philanthropic gifts. More than 100 faculty and staff ambassadors in units across campus devoted their time and energy to keeping the McGill24 spirit strong and to motivating their peers to give.
By the close of this third edition of McGill24, it was clear that the campaign was not just a show of pride from McGill supporters, but a global demonstration of the power of philanthropy and the impact it can have on McGill students, research and the community.
The McGill24 website will continue to feature information and statistics about the campaign’s achievements.