Ducks Give introduces more ways to fortify the flock in 2024

During Ducks Give, everyone can be a philanthropist. 

This year, the University of Oregon’s annual day of giving will take place May 16 alongside University Day. The theme of 2024’s Ducks Give event is student success, specifically access and scholarships, student services, academic and research excellence, and career preparation. 

Organizers say funding for those four focus areas will bolster students' abilities to graduate on time with less debt and a greater sense of belonging. 

More than 30 areas across the UO’s campuses will participate in the grassroots effort to elevate the student experience. Donors can give to a group or fund of interest or one of the many new challenges this year, including the 50 State Challenge.

“The 50 State Challenge is part of efforts to connect with parents and families and provide more ways for them to participate in UO activities, especially ones that involve our students,” said Amy Swank, senior director of Parents and Family Engagement and Philanthropy in University Advancement. “Our goal is to receive gifts from all 50, and to make things a little more fun, we’ll be sending 100 ‘Duck Family’ flags to randomly selected donors across the nation.”

Organizers for Ducks Give want to top the success of past years by passing $2.2 million in revenue and generating more than 2,000 gifts. To support that goal, UO President Karl Scholz has issued a Presidential Challenge, doubling the contribution from last year to $20,000. 

This year’s Presidential Challenge will track all the campus funds on a leaderboard and award portions of the $20,000 to the four Ducks Give campus funds with the most gifts.

“Ducks Give is an exciting tradition during which many people make their first gift to the UO,” Scholz said. “My Presidential Leaderboard Challenge gift is an invitation to our community to partner with us and see their gifts have even greater impact.”

This year, Ducks Give Ambassadors will play a crucial role in the event's success. Those interested in becoming an ambassador can sign up online to receive a custom link they can use to encourage their social circles to give. 

Ambassadors will compete for the most gifts made and highest total gift, with the top ambassadors earning special swag and the opportunity to have their chosen fund benefit from Scholz’s leaderboard challenge gift. On May 16, Ducks Give Ambassadors will be invited to the Giustina Ballroom in the Ford Alumni Center for a celebration in their honor. 

“Becoming an ambassador offers an excellent opportunity for individuals to actively engage in spreading awareness and generating enthusiasm for our upcoming ninth annual giving day,” said Wendy Westphal, associate director of volunteer engagement for University Advancement. 

It’s not just ambassadors who can enjoy the festivities during Ducks Give. Events will be held across the Eugene campus, including at the School of Journalism and Communication, UO Libraries, and the Lundquist College of Business. 

Students also are invited to write thank-you cards to donors and learn about the philanthropic impact of Ducks Give at the Erb Memorial Union between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. May 16. Those who attend will have an opportunity to voice support for where funding should go while enjoying bracelet-making, taking photos with the Duck and Caesar the No-Drama Llama, and more. 

"Philanthropy is more than just giving money,” said Hailey Yang, a University Advancement intern responsible for the student event. “This event is all about educating students on the impacts of generous donors on their college experience and how they can make a difference in the future for other students."

Ducks Give goes live at noon May 15 and closes at midnight May 16. To learn more and get the latest information, Yang encourages visiting the Giving Day website, keeping tabs on the UO’s social media channels and using the #DucksGive hashtag. To play a more active role, sign up to become a Ducks Give ambassador and download graphics to use on social media channels

—By Sage Kiernan-Sherrow, University Advancement