AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas at Austin is inviting alumni, students, faculty members, staffers and friends to rally during its 40 Hours for the Forty Acres fundraising effort Wednesday and Thursday, April 27-28.
Now in its third year, this campaign has brought in more than a half million dollars to support programs and initiatives across UT Austin’s campus. In an effort to break last year’s record of more than 2,900 donors, the university has established a challenge pool, underwritten by gifts from alumni and friends recognized as Longhorn Leaders. These funds will be used as rewards to build excitement and incentivize participation. For example, the university will offer up to $10,000 in matching funds during two “power hours” during the campaign.
With state general appropriations making up just 12 percent of the university’s budget, philanthropy has become an increasingly important part of UT Austin’s financial stability. Donations fund many scholarships for students who otherwise would not be able to attend college, help recruit the best faculty possible and create hands-on experiences such as study abroad and research opportunities at the freshman level.
“Philanthropy helps fill in the gaps where state support and tuition leave off, and students like me greatly benefit from that generosity,” says Keila Crosby, an International Relations and Global Studies senior.
During the 40 hours, alumni and students are encouraged to support the programs and initiatives at UT that are important to them, whether those are specific colleges or schools, research projects, the arts or student activities.
Every gift makes a difference, large or small. The 40 Hours for the Forty Acres initiative aims to establish a tradition among the Longhorn community of coming together and supporting the university in any way it can.
“For us, this campaign is a fantastic way to reach new donors. It generates excitement and gives us a way to show people that every contribution, regardless of the size, helps create the specialized learning environment necessary to educate the most skilled nurses,” says Andria Brannon, director of development at the School of Nursing.