Giving Day 2022: Amplifying opportunities for UCSC students

Focusing on student success, the campus’s largest fundraising event is November 2

Giving Day raises funds for student success.  (Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)

The biggest day for fundraising at UC Santa Cruz returns to campus on November 2. The seventh annual Giving Day will raise funds for student success—with an emphasis on programs that provide access to financial support, secure sources for basic needs, mental health support, opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research, and connections that catalyze social mobility.

There are more than 150 Giving Day projects this year that will help ensure Banana Slugs have access to all that UC Santa Cruz has to offer.

“Giving Day is wildly popular at UC Santa Cruz because it makes a significant impact on campus, and donors can see exactly where their gifts are going,” says Jenna Hurley, associate director of annual giving. “Teams are raising money for projects that directly benefit students and amplify their UCSC experience. Things like sports equipment, lab materials, travel costs for clubs, basic needs like food and housing, peer mentorship support, career and community building opportunities, and extracurricular activities.”

Students, faculty, staff, parents, friends, and alumni are encouraged to support UCSC during the 24-hour online crowdfunding contest. A series of time-based challenges will award teams prizes for the most donors, the best social media presence, the most compelling videos, and more. Giving Day donors can compete with one another to propel their favorite projects into first place for these challenges, or have their gifts doubled by generous matching donors.

The UC Santa Cruz Board of Trustees are among those providing a challenge by generously funding the Slug Power Challenge.

“Challenges and matches buoy participation and enthusiasm for Giving Day,” Hurley says. “We’re really inspired by the incredible buy-in and engagement from campus leadership.” 

Engaging alumni

Last year, 3,610 donors generously contributed more than $700,000 during Giving Day. Alumni accounted for 41 percent of those donors. Hurley says the fundraising event is a great way for alumni to support their alma mater.

“Giving Day is a fantastic opportunity for alumni to give back and provide today’s Banana Slugs with the same opportunities and more than they had during their time at UC Santa Cruz,” she says. “We encourage gifts of all sizes—even a gift of $5 makes a difference.” 

Giving Day supports student success

Giving Day projects amplify student experiences at UC Santa Cruz. Examples  of these student-centered projects include:

  • The Academic Excellence (ACE) Program increases diversity and reduces the achievement gap for historically underrepresented students majoring in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Giving Day helps ACE serve more students.
  • The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) is the world's largest international synthetic biology competition. UCSC's 2022 iGEM team will use funds from Giving Day to pay for  lab materials so the team can conduct their research project, as well as registration fees and travel expenses associated with the competition.
  • The College Scholars Program at UC Santa Cruz (CSP) provides opportunities for highly-motivated students to build community and participate in research during their first four quarters at UCSC. Giving Day funds provide  academic and non-academic seminars, workshops, and career and community building opportunities.
  • The Everett Program’s Gateways Project is a network of student projects centered on reducing recidivism across California correctional facilities. Gateways students are partnering with formerly incarcerated filmmaker Thanh Tran to help produce Finding Ma, a documentary focused on his experiences with the foster system, incarceration, and family reunification. Contributions from giving day will allow students to purchase necessary software and equipment to support this independent documentary in its beginning stages. 

Get ready. Get set. Give.

The UC Santa Cruz community—students, alumni, staff, families, faculty, and friends—will have the chance to support these programs and others when Giving Day 2022 kicks off at 12 a.m. on November 2 all the way until 11:59 p.m. The Giving Day website will provide up-to-the-moment tallies.

For more information about UCSC’s Giving Day 2022, visit the Giving Day website or email