– It was another record-breaking year for the University of Massachusetts Department of Athletics during the annual UMass Gives campaign on April 26-27. In the 48-hour span, a total of 1,573 gifts equaling $165,672.83 were made which are new records for both. The total number of gifts made also doubled the next highest unit on the UMass Amherst campus.
"I want to thank our most generous supporters, alumni, coaches, staff, and current student-athletes who took part in UMass Gives this year," said Director of Athletics Ryan Bamford
. "Their generosity will directly impact the experiences of our students and their sport programs. To see the support, particularly from alumni giving back to their specific programs, was inspiring. We look forward to breaking new records during our 2019 UMass Gives campaign."
The $165,672 raised in 2017-18 was an increase of 42 percent compared to the 2016-17 challenge ($116,607). The gift total increased 58.4 percent compared to 2016-17 as well.
"To see the amount of gifts, both in volume and total dollars, shows a significant amount of support for what we are doing as an athletics department," said Senior Associate Director of Athletics David Biancamano
who leads The Minutemen Club – the fundraising arm of UMass Athletics. "Thank you to all of those who gave and those who worked so hard to promote the two-day challenge. The continued growth we are having with UMass Gives, and our fundraising efforts in general, reinforce the athletics department's positive trajectory."
Perhaps most notable about this year's UMass Gives challenge was that over 52 percent of current student-athletes made gifts to invest support into their own programs. Six programs had their entire teams make gifts: football, men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse, softball, women's soccer and women's swimming and diving.
Overall, 65 percent of this year's seniors made a contribution to support the Class of 2018 participation drive.
Other highlights included giving challenges initiated by the department, individuals and even Bamford himself.
Several of those challenges initiated the 'un-locking of additional funds' based on the highest percentage of alumni who gave back. Women's lacrosse led the way with 28 percent of its former student-athletes giving back to secure an additional $6,500 bonus. Men's swimming and diving had 24 percent of its alumni give back to earn a $4,000 bonus, while women's rowing had 20 percent alumni participation followed by field hockey (16 percent) and women's swimming and diving (11 percent).
Several coaches, such as women's lacrosse head coach Angela McMahon
, set up programmatic challenges. Coach McMahon gave $100 each time an entire graduating class made gifts. The two-days were then highlighted by Bamford's challenge allowing anyone who gave $500 a chance at dunking him in a Dunk Tank prior to the home baseball game vs. Maine.
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For information on making a gift to UMass Athletics or to any of UMass's 21 sports, visit www.TheMinutemenClub.com
to do so or to speak with a member of The Minutemen Club staff.