There’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned game of TAG. Last Thursday at Heidelberg, though, TAG had a strong message and an important objective. The Student Alumni Association organized the campus’s participation in TAG Day, short for Thank a Giver, as part of National Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day.
“The goal and purpose of this event is to bring awareness and understanding of philanthropy to our student body,” said Ashley Helmstetter, director of annual giving and alumni engagement. Students gathered in Saurwein Health & Wellness Center and The University Commons for fun, food and donor appreciation activities.
At each location, students signed thank-you postcards to donors and expressed their thanks by completing the sentences “Your gift helped me to …..” and “Thanks to you, I am able to …..” on large white boards. SAA members asked their professors to wear TAG Day stickers and about 100 locations on campus – those that are tied directly to donations – also were “tagged.”
“It was important for me to participate in TAG Day to show all my appreciation to the donors who give generous gifts to the university,” said SAA member Jillian Rine, a junior. “Without them I would be at the school that I love.”
Junior Jessica Kidd, also an SAA member, said the best part of the event was the willingness of students to sign the thank-you post cards. “Students were very thankful for their scholarships and were glad to be able to thank donors for their support,” she said. “It was great to see the appreciation the students had for the donors.
In all, students signed more than 2,000 postcards, which will be mailed to donors soon, Helmstetter said.
Students earned prizes for a trivia contest. They also were asked to trend on Twitter; the first 20 to do so received a TAG Day T-shirt.
Helmstetter explained that TAG Day also served as the kickoff for the Senior Class Giving program. This year, each graduating senior is being asked to contribute $20.13 in honor of their graduation year and as a beginning point to an attitude of philanthropy. “With their gift, they will have the opportunity to thank a person who helped make their Heidelberg experience possible and rewarding,” she said. Those designations will appear in a special insert in the commencement program.
National Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day was organized by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education’s Affiliated Student Advancement Programs. Schools across the nation participated in large numbers for the first-ever event.