"Giving DEISday" has been an annual Brandeis fundraising tradition since the day’s founding six years ago. The day lines up with “Giving Tuesday” — described on their website as “A movement that unleashes the power of radical generosity around the world” — which occurs Tuesday following Thanksgiving.

This year, Brandeis raised $1 million and counting, according to Lindsay Roth, Director of Direct Marketing and Participation in the Institutional Advancement office. While around one-third of these donations usually come from alumni, this year, “Current students also stepped up –– over 200 undergrads made a gift to Brandeis in honor of Giving DEISday, too!” Roth wrote in a Dec. 4 email to the Justice. 

Donors have the ability to choose where their money goes, including but not limited to locations such as The Brandeis Fund, which allows the University to put donations wherever it is most needed, athletics, scholarships, different schools and departments within Brandeis, clubs and more. Roth explained in her email that “the momentum and popularity of this event is catching on.” For example, the Intercultural Center “engaged donors for the first time and met their goal of 30 [donations] for their 30th anniversary,” Roth said. Additionally, she outlined that Waltham Group collected donations from their alumni network for the first time and the Athletics Department collected $150,000 — three times the amount they made two years ago. 

Lucas Malo, Director of Community Service, works closely with the Waltham Group and told the Justice that this year’s donors were able to send their donations directly to the Waltham Group. “By supporting our students, we are ultimately raising funds that provide programs, a diversely talented pool of student volunteers and awareness about our mission which has more benefits than we know,” he said in an email to the Justice on Dec. 1. The organization decides how to allocate the donations, and for the Waltham Group, one of the greatest need areas is “funds to provide scholarships/stipends to students who want to volunteer, but may have financial barriers that prevent them from fully engaging,” Malo said. Regardless of where the money collected is going, Roth stressed that each donation counts, whether it be $5 or $100,000. “Giving DEISday is important because it showcases the impact of the group,” she said. 

 In his email, Malo recognized that there is more to fundraising than money and wrote that people can make contributions to organizations in ways besides making a monetary donation. 

Fundraising offers an opportunity for people to share their stories. “As we explore giving, we often have to explore our values and experiences and when members of our community share stories, this helps to spread awareness about the experiences, organizational goals and community needs,” Malo explained. 

 One less discussed aspect of "Giving DEISday" relates to how individuals are impacted by the day in a different way than benefiting from the funds. “In the Department of Community Service one of our learning outcomes is ‘Reflective Thinking’ and I truly believe that the day provides an intentional moment for members of our community to reflect on their growth and experiences that Brandeis offered or facilitated,” Malo said. 

 An additional benefit of "Giving DEISday" is the recognition of Brandeis’ strong community, Roth pointed out. “It is such an important reminder that Brandeis is a global community extending far beyond the Waltham campus and is not limited to students or alumni. It's families. And friends. And faculty and staff. And they all care a whole heck of a lot about keeping Brandeis around for future generations to come, which is what this event is all about!” she said. 

 While "Giving DEISday" is over for this year, the University is still accepting donations. Visit GivingDEISday.brandeis.edu for more information.