To create a culture of philanthropy at UGA, Donor Relations and Stewardship instituted our first Thank a Donor Day in 2012. The campus community is invited to celebrate this day of gratitude and participate in activities that create collateral used for stewarding our donors throughout the following year. Thank a Donor Day educates students about the impact of private giving by communicating the difference it makes to their UGA experiences while emphasizing the importance of thanking donors for their generosity.
Jordan Dotson and Calli Choe
Thank a Donor Days collect student thank you notes, photos, and videos that are used centrally and by our departmental development offices to steward gifts in a personal, energetic way. Volunteers from Team Stewardship coordinate stations that encourage participation, and prizes are given to students based on the amount of gratitude activities they complete.
To increase the message of Thank a Donor Day across campus the week prior, bus cards, digital messaging, and yard signs sharing facts about private support are placed across campus. Student ambassadors in our departments, as well as Student Alumni Association and Student Government Association, and members of the UGA Spirit Squad bring excitement to the day. Thank a Donor Day is one of our most collaborative events that allows campus to come together for a positive purpose of gratitude.
2020/2021 COVID-19 Response
As we approached the ninth annual Thank a Donor Day in spring 2020, our circumstances forced a quick pivot from our traditional day on campus with students, faculty, and staff. Although we were forced to celebrate from afar, our students showed their gratitude virtually! Usually, our oversized card is filled with student signatures, we nearly run out of t-shirts and cookies enticing participants, and over 600 postcards are mailed to individual donors. But in 2020 and 2021, students took time to record personal messages from home.
Thank a Donor Day began in 2012.