It wasn't an entirely new concept, but hosting a 24-hour, online-based fundraising effort was definitely new to Columbia University.  Entitled "Giving Day," this fundraising drive was different than many university-wide campaigns in that it did not include pledged dollars and a variety of other gifts.  Giving Day totals were based on donations made in a 24-hour span, online only.

The event encouraged friends and alumni to come together to support their favorite Columbia schools and programs. The schools and programs competed against each other for significant matching funds, based on number of donors and total dollars raised.

On October 24, 2012, just 24 hours, Columbia University totaled 5,300 gifts that brought in more than $6.8 million, but just what would Columbia Athletics contribution to that total be? Competing against Columbia College, Engineering, Business School and Law School, Athletics would have its work cut out.

The results are in, and they are impressive.

Athletics raised $982,763 total-24% of the total dollars raised on Giving Day, and second only in terms of dollar total to Columbia College.

Athletics won a portion ($59,885) of the Giving Day $250,000 incentive fund, provided by a group of University Trustees.   

Athletics also won TWO of the "hourly" Giving Day challenges: The 1,754th donor of the day gave to Athletics, which earned Athletics a $5,000 bonus, and Columbia Athletics had the most donors from 8pm-9pm, which also earned a $5,000 bonus. In this 8pm-9pm hour, almost all of Columbia's student-athletes made a gift to The Lions Fund, our student-athlete giving fund.

"Our generous alumni, parents, friends, student-athletes, administrators and staff are amazing," said Dr. M. Dianne Murphy, Director, Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education.  "They embraced Giving Day and because of their efforts, we raised close to $1 million dollars for Columbia Athletics.   They are simply the best!"

For the varsity sports programs annual funds alone, Columbia Athletics raised $600,000, which is close to 40% of the combined fundraising goal for the fiscal year.

Three varsity sports programs surpassed their Fiscal Year 2013 fundraising goals and one sports program raised more than 200% than it did in Fiscal Year 2012! 

 "More than 1,900 gifts from over 1,500 individual donors were made to Athletics!  It was a tremendous outpouring of support and we are   incredibly grateful to all those who participated." Corey Aronstam, Director of Development for Athletics said.  "Raising $1 million dollars for our athletics program far exceeded our expectations."

The first-ever Giving Day is now in the past, but the effort and overwhelming support of Columbians university-wide will not be forgotten. 

Roar, Lion, Roar!


For more information about giving to Columbia Athletics, please contact Corey Aronstam at