Bryant University raises record $1M at its annual Giving Day – Providence Business News

By | November 11, 2020

BRYANT UNIVERSITY received more than $1 million in donations Oct. 28 during its third annual Bryant Giving Day. / COURTESY BRYANT UNIVERSITY

SMITHFIELD – In a year marred by a health pandemic and colleges trying to restart their campuses in a safe manner, Bryant University had no shortage of donors willing to help Oct. 28.

The third annual Giving Day saw the university be the beneficiary of $1,058,977 in 2,717 gifts from a little more than 2,000 donors during the 24-hour fundraiser. That amount is the most Bryant has received in the brief history of its annual Giving Day initiative, which helps fund various university programming and scholarships.

In the 2019 Giving Day, Bryant received a little more than $700,000 in donations, which was about $300,000 more than what it received during its inaugural Giving Day.

“For us, getting to a million [dollars] is a huge milestone,” said David C. Wegrzyn, Bryant’s vice president of university advancement. “To be quite honest, we weren’t sure if it was going to be possible.”

Wegrzyn said he initially didn’t want to announce a $1 million fundraising goal for the university, fearing that such a goal wouldn’t be reached, and wanted to let the fundraising total “grow organically.” He said the energy of the day created the momentum to set a new fundraising benchmark for Bryant Giving Day.

Of the funds raised, $105,905 were raised for the Be Bryant Strong Fund. The fund was established to help raise money to support the reopening costs Bryant has incurred due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, such as testing services and student-support services. Wegrzyn said including this fund as an option for people to give to during Bryant Giving Day was a “driving factor” in the high amount of donations the university received.

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James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at [email protected]. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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