University of Texas students, alumni and supporters gave more than triple the fundraising goal of the inaugural 40 Hours for the Forty Acres April 3-4. The campaign aimed to raise $40,000 for UT in 40 hours.
The tally when the countdown ended: $128,516.*
The campaign also hoped to attract at least 400 student donors. With more than 900 student gifts received, that goal was far surpassed.
Longhorns were invited to donate any amount to any UT cause they feel passionate about. Gifts came in for a variety of programs including Financial Aid, Dell Medical School, Women in Engineering, Rio Grande Valley Scholars, UT Elementary, UT Libraries, Texas Student Media and Horns Helping Horns.
"The overall idea, for both alumni and students, is to foster a culture of burnt orange philanthropy that will become a fun, annual tradition for years to come," communications senior and campaign committee member Luke Ward told The Daily Texan.
In addition to an on-campus student event and a traditional phone bank, 40 for 40 placed a strong emphasis on online giving and social media and email promotion. In a Tower Talk blog post celebrating the campaign, President Bill Powers summed it up plainly: "This was the most successful web-based fundraiser we have ever had."
The university relies heavily on private support in order to account for decreasing state funding and keep tuition as low as possible. FY 2012-13 undergraduate resident tuition and fees at UT Austin ranked second-lowest out of a 12-institution national comparison group.
Learn more about giving to UT and the role philanthropy plays in supporting students and helping UT become the top public research university.
*All numbers are preliminary, pending final gift processing.