Taylor University’s annual spring “I Love TU” Week raised a total of $842,184 in donor gifts — nearly tripling the university’s original $250,000 goal.
Mariana Pratas, director of digital engagement and annual giving, said they had several donors who matched every financial gift.
The giving event lasted April 17-19 — two days less than its traditional five day duration — with each day introducing a premium for donors. Donors received an “I Love TU” t-shirt if they gave more than $100 on day one, an “I Love TU” tote bag if they donated more than $200 and, if they gave on the third day, had their gift tripled.
“[The donors] do love the fact that their gift is doubled or tripled,” Christi Stargel, data specialist for donor services, said. “They'll put comments in there [that say], ‘I love the fact that my gift is being tripled today.”
All money from the event went toward the Taylor fund.
Sarah James, advancement content developer, said that “I Love TU” is a broad giving initiative that affects all Taylor students positively. The previous year’s efforts helped to deduct $1,800 off every student's tuition. The school has yet to determine the impact of this year’s initiative.
The excitement and spirit in Taylor pride are bonus outcomes of “I Love TU” week, James said. However, this is not its purpose.
“It's a fundraising initiative,” James said. “But the best way for us to highlight the good things happening at Taylor is for us to feature our students.”
“Thank-you” videos and photoshoots of students are a few ways the event emphasizes the impact of giving on students.
James said the primary method for Taylor students to support future efforts and get involved is to repost about it on social media — even private accounts can make a difference. Social media interaction costs students nothing and can encourage further donations.
“I Love TU” week has existed since 2019 and has been used to help increase the amount of donor participants as well as to encourage donors to support Taylor. The donor pool includes people such as friends of the university, alumni, parents, grandparents, retirees, employees, faculty and staff.
“[Some] students might not be able to return to Taylor if it wasn't for the Taylor fund,” Pratas said. “So I think that's pretty special. That reminds me of why I come to work every day.”
James, Pratas and Stargel said “I Love TU” week is significant in that it reminds them of God’s goodness.
While the financial aspect is important, it is watching the Spirit work in even the little things during that week that shows faith, James said.
“It's not all about the numbers,” Stargel said. “It's always just about the Lord's faithfulness — his goodness — that he's always there, watching over us, and [that] he's with us no matter what.”