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UBC Giving Day raises over $800,000

Funds raised by the university’s third annual giving challenge will support students and projects that are changing the world for the better.

On April 5, students, faculty, staff, alumni, family and friends came together to stop time and make Giving Day an incredible success!

Launched university-wide in 2021, Giving Day is a 24-hour giving challenge that brings the community together to support UBC causes that matter most to them. This year, more than 4,000 donors gave over $800,000 to 69 UBC causes that are changing the world for the better, whether it’s tackling global issues, supporting research and innovation, developing a more diverse and inclusive society or making education possible for all.

The BC Brain Wellness Program—which raised over $50,000—is just one example. The program offers free exercise and lifestyle classes to individuals living with chronic brain conditions, their care partners and healthy agers across BC. It is entirely donor funded and gifts raised on Giving Day will ensure the program continues to thrive.

At the Okanagan campus, nearly $10,000 was raised for the Perseverance Bursary, which helps remove financial barriers for students living with disabilities. This bursary is the only donor-funded award for students with disabilities, and funds raised on Giving Day 2022 allowed the university to offer eight additional bursaries.

“By supporting Giving Day causes, donors have enabled progress and empowered our community to change our world for the better,” says Heather McCaw, Vice-President of Development & Alumni Engagement.

“Giving Day is so important because it’s the one day of the year where everyone comes together to support the UBC causes they are passionate about. In just 24 hours, we achieved more than we thought possible, and I’m incredibly excited about the impact this support will have on essential projects and programs!”

This year, the campus community came out in force at in-person events on both UBC campuses. Thousands of students came away with a better understanding of the impact donors have on their every day UBC experience, and showed their gratitude by signing thank you cards and supporting their favourite causes.

“The energy is great, this event is bringing everyone together to have fun and celebrate, I love it!” said UBC international student Ella, who attended the UBC Vancouver event. “I won a scholarship and I feel very thankful to be here every day being supported by donors. It’s great that we have these opportunities at UBC, they really impact our student experience.”

When asked if she had a message for donors, Ella said simply, “thank you, you’re great!”

Throughout the day students also engaged in some healthy competition. On the Vancouver campus, participating in activities—such as philanthropy trivia, cornhole and physical challenges (think jumping jacks and lunges)—gave students a chance to win UBC swag and support their favourite Giving Day fund by helping to distribute $3,000 to the funds of their choice.

In Kelowna, students who participated in activities voted for their favourite fund. The Emergency First Response Team received the highest number of votes and received an additional $1,000.

Donors online weren’t exempt from showcasing their competitive side. A unique feature of Giving Day is challenge funds, which unlock extra support. For example, when 10 alumni donors gave to UBC Okanagan’s FORWARD for Students, a gift of $2,000 was unlocked and went directly to the fund.

“Giving Day is a chance to show our pride in being part of this incredible UBC community,” says Lesley Cormack, Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at UBC Okanagan. “It’s wonderful to see the momentum for this event growing each year and I can’t wait to see what we will achieve collectively next year!”