Giving Day encourages donations to UW-Eau Claire

The internationally recognized celebration comes to campus once again to garner support for students

More stories from Ta’Leah Van Sistine


Photo by Sam Farley

UW-Eau Claire will join thousands of nonprofits around the world in celebration of Giving Tuesday on Nov. 27.

Across the world, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated as a day to donate one’s time, money, goods, resources and acts of kindness. The international movement known as Giving Tuesday will take place Nov. 27 this year, encouraging nonprofit and civic organizations, businesses, corporations and individuals in more than 150 countries to participate.

Although Giving Tuesday is recognized on a worldwide scale, the UW-Eau Claire Foundation has also been relating the day’s theme back to campus for five years now. On the same day as the international celebration, UW-Eau Claire celebrates its own form of the event called Giving Day.

Tori Follett — the director of annual giving for the UW-Eau Claire Foundation — is responsible for coordinating Giving Day on the UW-Eau Claire campus. She said one central purpose of the day is to encourage UW-Eau Claire alumni to give back to their alma mater.

“It’s really an opportunity to encourage our alumni and donors to give back to UW-Eau Claire,” Follett said. “The money that we raise goes towards not only scholarships but research projects and internships.”

Follett said Giving Day also reveals to students the many ways in which alumni and donors contribute to their educations.

“Another goal that we have … is to kinda just spread awareness so students know that there’s alumni that donate to UW-Eau Claire to support the education here,” Follett said. “I think in general, people are unaware that alumni donate to the university. Unfortunately tuition does not cover all of the things that go on here — although we wish it would — so that’s kind of where donations come in.”

Follett said spreading awareness to students will be done through the activities that take place on Giving Day. Beginning at 7:30 a.m., the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association and Foundation will hand out UW-Eau Claire hats and scarves outside of Schofield Hall. However, in Davies, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the group will hand out free donuts and coffee to students and also encourage them to say thank you to UW-Eau Claire donors.

“We’ve got some little thank you signs, (so) we’ll take some pictures of students holding the thank you signs,” Follett said. “It’s kind of just our way of getting students involved without asking them to donate necessarily, but asking them to be a part of Giving Day by thanking the people that do donate.”

Throughout Giving Day, Follett said those pictures of students will be sent to alumni who have donated to the university.

Jaden Mikoulinskii, a first-year political science student, said she recognizes the importance of Giving Day on the international platform as well as its ties to the UW-Eau Claire campus.

“I think it’s incredibly important … to come back to the roots again after Thanksgiving and really finalize the point that this is the season of giving and the time to be thankful for what you have and recognize that not everyone has what you have,” Mikoulinskii said.

Mikoulinskii said she appreciates Giving Day for her involvement in Student Support Services and as a student who collects donations through phone calls for the Alumni Foundation. Through those positions, she said she witnesses first hand the large number of UW-Eau Claire students who depend on financial aid and scholarships. She also is grateful for Giving Day as an independent student who has to support herself for her education.

“There are some students who rely on their parents for tuition,” Mikoulinskii said. “I’m in the boat where I moved out when I turned 18. I’m on my own, so Giving Day (is) just making sure people donate, so that people can go to school here.”

“We live in a community, especially here at UWEC, where we look out for each other, and I love that about this campus,” Mikoulinskii said. “You know you’re not alone, and you know that we’re all going to work together to make it happen for you.”

If interested in making a donation to UW-Eau Claire, go to

Van Sistine can be reached at [email protected]