The Importance of Giving Tuesday & Giving Back

Giving Tuesday is a huge day for many organizations including Tepper. While organizations make a big push for donations on this day, this was an important day for the Class of 2018 Gift Campaign. Our goal is to be the first class to ever reach 100% participation. When we launched our campaign last month, we got 25% of our class to participate on that day. Our next milestone was to reach 50% on Giving Tuesday.

President Jahanian pledged to match every gift made on Giving Tuesday 2:1 which would essentially triple all amounts donated to our class gift. Joe Hall and Jeff Ledwick, our GBA President and Alumni Relations Officer, respectively, made their own pledges as well to incentivize our class. For those of you who don’t know, Joe is known for his sporty look – he wears neon PSL (Pittsburgh Sports Leauge) t-shirts and gym shorts anytime he doesn’t have a meeting, interview, or special event. Jeff is almost the opposite with his new Tepper Patagonia vest and “preppy” outfits. If we reached 50% these two decided to swap outfits. Joe agreed to wear non-PSL shirts and pants for 1 month and Jeff agreed to dress like Joe for 1 week.

We not only reached our goal but also surpassed it to 56% participation! I saw Joe wearing a polo and jeans the very next day so I can’t wait to see Jeff in shorts and a neon PSL shirt soon! In addition to reaching our goal, the school had a goal of getting 200 donations. We reached that goal pretty quickly and Dean Dammon issued a new challenge for 450 donations. We surpassed that as well and had one of the the best Giving Tuesdays ever. Of the 550+ donations made that day, more than 100 came from students. To see students excited about Tepper and wanting to help and support the school is pretty amazing. It shows just how much the Tepper community matters and that we have each other’s back.

We still have a long way to go to reach 100%. As we get closer to our goal, it actually becomes harder to get people to support the campaign. Those who have not donated are not interested for a variety of reason:

  • I already pay a lot of tuition to the school
  • I don’t have a full-time offer yet so I can’t afford to make a donation right now
  • My donation won’t make a difference so why bother

I understand all of those concerns because I’m in the same boat. Since our campaign launched, I have donated twice partly because I am on the committee but mostly because I have gained a lot from Tepper. As a committee member, it doesn’t feel right to ask my classmates to donate if I have not. However, I do feel very grateful for everything Tepper has given me and so I want to give back. I have donated small amounts both times because while the amount does not make an impact, the action of giving impacts the school more than we realize. As students we do not have money right now but there are many influential alums who do. Our dedication to Tepper inspires them to give back and the best way to show that is through our participation rate.

I’m not asking my classmates to donate hundreds of dollars; I just want to encourage them to participate even if that means donating $1. Everyone has their issues with the education system but I am not here to talk about that. I want each person in my class who has yet to donate to think about the relationships, the memories, and the opportunities that they have had at Tepper. If those have any value to you then I urge you to donate. We want our class gift to leave a lasting mark and be something meaningful for future Tepper students. If you’ve had a great experience then make it possible for future students to have the same. If you did not have a great experience then help us make a change for the better. While we continue to decide what exactly our class gift will be, you can’t deny that our time at Tepper has been memorable.

Help the Class of 2018 go down in Tepper history as the first class to ever get 100% participation rate. Others will try to follow but we will forever be the legends who made it possible!

Arthi Manivasakam | MBA 2018
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