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Students in Give Day T-shirts

A Story Told Together

UC Santa Barbara’s community united for 24 hours of digital philanthropy

If you were online on April 12, 2018, you may have noticed something different. Your email inbox was full of familiar UC Santa Barbara stories. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter flashed blue and gold with photographs and memories. At any given moment, over 100,000 people were talking about UC Santa Barbara on social media with the hashtag #UCSBGiveDay, where alumni, including musician Jack Johnson, reminisced.

Staff celebrating Give Day

Our Give Day 2018 stories focused on opportunity, leadership and legacy. The impact was tangible. In just 24 hours, thousands of individuals donated online to raise $5,695,951.

The celebration launched April 11 with alumni events in Los Angeles, Bay Area, Orange County and San Diego. UC Santa Barbara alumni ambassadors spanning six generations helped rally recent graduates to kick off Give Day.

“When you get people talking about their experiences at UC Santa Barbara, it’s an instant connector,” said Kristen Hayford ’11, Los Angeles regional young alumni board president. “Your experience at UC Santa Barbara, even compared to other UCs, is just different.”

Kristen wanted to capture that sense of belonging for fellow recent alumni at the Los Angeles regional launch party. Each kickoff streamed live footage of the gatherings across California so alumni could connect with other cities for games and friendly competition to raise support for UC Santa Barbara. Kristen thinks this energy helped power philanthropy.

“Events like this remind alumni of their unique shared experience and motivate them to give back,” she said. “Small gifts add up when everyone participates.”

When the sun rose on April 12, UC Santa Barbara was already awake as faculty, students and staff celebrated with food, giveaways and pop-up events across campus. Campus departments embraced Give Day by hosting their own events to encourage participation. Faculty from the Department of Communication volunteered to be pied in the face on Facebook Live when their fundraising goals were achieved. Each event was full of students witnessing the impact of giving back.

Communication faculty being pied in the face

With ambassadors from the student philanthropy group UCSB First, Cochair Deepika Chandrashekar ’19 helped organize student engagement and opportunities for seniors to make their class gift online. “Our students are enthusiastic to be a part of one of our campus traditions and starting to become more aware of how they can relate as alumni thanks to Give Day,” said Deepika. “Philanthropy is one of the best ways to give back to campus and understand how students are experiencing UC Santa Barbara now.”

UC Santa Barbara felt that enthusiasm on April 12. “Give Days are amazing opportunities to reach out to our alumni nationally and internationally,” said Beverly Colgate, associate vice chancellor for development. “We get to meet our greatest advocates in their communities, virtually. For one day, the campus and our constituents can unite through social media and compelling conversation. It’s not about how much we raise, necessarily: the day is about participation.”

Kristen agreed. “Participating in Give Day is an incredible way to say thanks.”

Whether you opened an email, shared a Facebook post, attended an event, made a gift or set a challenge grant, thank you for your help in writing UC Santa Barbara’s next chapter on Give Day 2018.