This Valentine’s Day, the entire Wildcat family of students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends of California State University, Chico will join forces to send some love to their favorite on-campus causes.

From midnight to 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14, the California State University, Chico will host Chico State Giving Day, its second-ever 24-hour fundraising effort, which uses a crowdfunding model to empower departments, programs and organizations to raise support from friends and family.

During the drive, any gift to any area will count toward the University’s Giving Day totals, but there are nearly 50 causes with special goals for the day. Some of these include the Wildcat Athletics teams, supporting summer chemistry research opportunities, funding needs-based scholarships, enriching student experiences through field trips or special projects, and more. A full list of designations can be found on the Giving Day website.

Steven Loya from University Advancement Services noted that as student enrollment growth has quickly outpaced California’s higher education funding across the CSU over the last two decades, fundraising has taken on added importance to ensure students’ success.

“Private gifts have become more important in providing resources to enhance the quality of academic programs, expand students’ educational and scholarship opportunities, support faculty research and initiatives, and strengthen the impact of our community service and cultural programs,” Loya said.

One of the major featured funds this year is the Chico State Fund, the University’s excellence and innovation fund that helps meet the University’s greatest needs. Through unrestricted gifts, the University can direct funds where and when they are needed most, whether providing for our students’ basic needs, funding on-campus labs, supporting tutoring programs, or any number of important initiatives.

Vice President for University Advancement Ahmad Boura said Giving Day embodies the culture of philanthropy that is propelling Chico State to a new level of excellence.

“The focus of Chico State Giving Day is to bring our whole community together for causes that make a difference in so many people’s lives,” Boura said. “Big or small, gifts to any area signal that we care deeply about the education and programs that benefit our North State community.”

As an added way to engage and inspire donors, the University Foundation Board of Governors and Tower Society members have provided Challenge and Bonus Gifts as special rewards to unlock throughout Giving Day. For example, when the total number of gifts to Chico State Giving Day campaigns reaches 2,500, $20,000 will be unlocked for the Chico State Fund. Similarly, donations received from all 50 states unlocks $5,000 for the Chico State Fund. Timed challenges with bonus awards will also take place throughout the day, including social media challenges, the first fund to secure 50 gifts, and first and final gifts on Thursday.

Finally, day-of activities for Giving Day on the CSU, Chico campus will take place inside Bell Memorial Union, Room 203 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will include a tabling fair to meet many of the causes fundraising that day, photos with Willie the Wildcat, food, music, games, prizes, and more. This will also double as Giving Day command center and trained fundraisers will be available to assist and answer any questions.

The University held its inaugural campuswide day of giving a little over a year ago on Nov. 28, 2017. Generous donors from 34 states provided 2,155 gifts and supported 132 designations, and raised $297,514. The top designations by number of donors last year included support of the Chico State Basic Needs Project, the baseball program, North State Public Radio, and the Community Legal Information Center.

The University community was prepared to hold the second annual Chico State Giving Day on Nov. 27, 2018, but it was postponed due to the catastrophic Camp Fire, shifting the fundraising focus to the University community’s immediate needs. The Wildcats Rise Fire Recovery Fund, established in the days after the Camp Fire, brought in support from around the globe and immediately began distributing funds to the campus community affected. And as of Feb. 12, the fund has raised more than $694,000 and aided 534 students, faculty, and staff.