The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith closed its third annual Day of Giving with extraordinary success, rallying a record-breaking 1,207 gifts totaling $94,339, surpassing the initial goal of $78,000.
Day of Giving 2023 ran for 1,928 minutes honoring the university’s founding year and closed donations at 3:08 p.m. Friday, April 28. The annual event that allows alumni, friends, and supporters of UAFS to contribute gifts of any amount towards university projects and initiatives.
This year’s highest grossing projects included the UAFS Area of Greatest Need, which raised $20,400, UAFS Golf with $18,855, the UAFS Athletics Weight Room with $10,532, the Alumni Legacy Scholarship with $7,960, and IDEAL Womenwith $5,500.
“It’s amazing what a community can do with just 1,928 minutes to give,” said Jasmine Smith, Director of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving at UAFS. “Our faculty and staff, students, and community members rallied behind our projects. Because of their generosity, we can provide hundreds more students with scholarships, equipment, and unique learning experiences that will prepare, empower, and inspire them well into the future.”
This year’s event saw the highest number of donors in the history of UAFS Day of Giving, and a 43% increase in unique gifts over last year.
The funds raised will be used to support various programs and projects, including scholarships, academic programs, athletic facilities, and more. The university is excited to put these contributions to work, enhancing the educational experience of its students and strengthening its commitment to excellence.
“As far as crowdfunding goes, we have the best crowd,” Smith said with a grin.
The full slate of projects included:
- Adult Degree Completion Program (ADCP) Scholarships: ADCP serves adults older than 25 with at least 30 college credits who work full-time. It offers eight-week, fully online courses, making degree completion efficient for working adults. Funds raised will support ADCP Scholarship Fund, assisting adult learners in managing the cost of college.
- Alumni Legacy Scholarships: This scholarship encourages generational relationships with UAFS for children or immediate family members of alumni. Established in 2015, it awarded $1,000 scholarships to eight recipients in 2022. Donations will help support this tradition of local, affordable education.
- Applause Literary Journal: Applause is an online national undergraduate journal that serves as a recruiting tool and model for university students and professionals. Funds will be used to expand literary arts programming, create a visiting writers series, and provide professional conference experiences for students. Donations will help build a vibrant literary arts community.
- Area of Greatest Need: Gifts to this area empower UAFS to address critical priorities and provide resources for unprecedented circumstances. These funds offer flexibility to prioritize student needs, seize opportunities, and respond quickly to challenges. Support contributes to the academic and professional success of nearly 7,000 students each semester.
- Athletics Weight Room Renovation: The UAFS Athletics weight room is essential for competitive ability, injury recovery, and mental health for over 180 athletes. The goal is to update the facility to provide a better experience, create a recruiting advantage, and match the Stubblefield Center’s quality. Funds raised will help renovate and modernize the weight room.
- Cub Camp Scholarships: Cub Camp aims to ease the transition from high school to college for incoming first-year students. The camp costs $55 per student and has served incoming classes of Lions since 2004. Funds will be used to support scholarships so every incoming student can build connections and a support network.
- Emergency Assistance Program: This program provides financial assistance to UAFS students facing temporary crises or emergencies that could derail their education. Since March 2020, 105 students have been helped, totaling $100,903.89. Donations will be used to cover these unexpected expenses such as car repairs, housing emergencies, funerals, and medical care.
- General Scholarship Fund: This fund offers broad-based support for UAFS students, adaptable to their diverse needs. The scholarships can be used for various criteria, including need or merit, major, GPA, and student type. Donations will be used to support students’ changing needs.
- Golf Team Practice Gear: The UAFS Golf program aims to enhance student-athletes’ skills by purchasing practice products. The products will be used for short game, driving range, putting green, and indoor/outdoor practice. Funds raised will help provide the necessary equipment for the program.
- IDEAL Women: This diverse, woman-centered organization at UAFS operates without a membership fee. The group is dedicated to creating an inclusive community for UAFS women through mentorship, leadership opportunities, and community engagement. Funds will be used to grow the organization and develop comprehensive professional development initiatives for members.
- International Study Scholarship: This scholarship offers a full merit award for a UAFS undergraduate to study at Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla in Mexico. The $5,000 scholarship covers roundtrip airfare, tuition, room and board, and field excursions. Funds raised will enable students to immerse themselves in Mexican culture and language.
- Library Textbook Share Program: Boreham Library’s initiative provides textbooks for general education courses, saving UAFS students over $35,000 in the past year. The program helps students access required course materials despite financial barriers. Donations will be used to expand the textbook collection and help more students succeed.
- Little Lions Child Development Center: Opening in August, the center will offer high-quality care for students’ children from birth to age 3. The facility will feature play-to-learn spaces and trained early childhood educators. Funds will be used to provide the best materials and learning experiences for the children.
- Read This! Program: This multidisciplinary literacy program engages UAFS students and the community through book selections, lectures, and discussions. The program extends to various departments and campus partners. Donations will support the implementation of activities and author or guest speaker engagements.
- UAFS Cheer Competition Funds: The UAFS cheer program seeks funding for the 2023-2024 season to update uniforms and cover competition travel expenses. The team has a history of success, including four national championships. Funds raised will enable the cheer team to continue representing UAFS at local and national events.
- Writing Center: The UAFS Writing Center supports all students, faculty, and staff with communication needs. Since October 2020, over 3,000 appointments have been conducted and nearly 9,800 scans have been recorded. Donations will help maintain and expand the center’s services.
Project totals are available here: https://fundraise.givesmart.com/vf/GIVEUAFS