“Giving Day” promotes investing in Luther College’s future


Thursday, Mar. 10, marked Luther College’s largest fundraiser of the year, “Giving Day”. The charity event celebrated the college’s greater community, while promoting ongoing financial support for current and future students. The 2022 Giving Day Celebration spanned 16 hours, and ultimately raised $1,143,556.00. 


“We are just really thrilled with how the day went,” Luther’s Director of Annual Giving, Megan Torkelson (‘05) said. “ I know most other colleges and universities do some kind of a Giving Day, [but] the amount of support we see from our alumni is above and beyond what other schools of our size see. The engagement that we get from doing this program and others, and just how amazing our on-campus community is in supporting us, is really remarkable.” 


All Giving Day donations – unless otherwise denoted – are directed towards the Luther Fund, which sets aside savings for student-centered initiatives such as scholarships, student organizations, and campus improvements. While parents, community members, and Luther staff offered sizable contributions, the largest group of donors on Giving Day consisted of alumni.


Directed by the College Development Office with help from Marketing and Communications departments, the Giving Day event was bolstered by the participation of student volunteers from the Student Philanthropy Council. This student organization provided assistance in drafting Thank-You cards to various donors and delivering them across campus. 


“It’s exciting to give thanks and see the different staff who donated,” Student Philanthropy Council member, Sydney Thompson (‘22), said. “I got to go see President Ward and give her a thank-you note – just stuff like that makes the day super fun. It’s a great way to reach out to our alums and professors.”


The event also found success drawing in off-campus donors to participate in specialized “Power Hours”. These periods occurred throughout the day, and offered to multiply pledge amounts from donors associated with certain athletic teams, music ensembles, student organizations, or even those living in certain geographic areas. Many donors opted to give “in honor” gifts, which noted that their contribution was in recognition of another Luther community member who had made an impression on their lives. 


“Naturally, our alumni and friends off campus were remembering people who have made a difference for them,” Luther President Jenifer K. Ward said. “It was especially moving to me that current faculty and staff were lifting each other up in the comments that accompanied their gifts.” 


While Luther’s Giving Day has come and gone, there are still many opportunities for interested individuals to give back to the community. Seniors interested in philanthropy at Luther may pledge towards the “True Blue” giving initiative, in which graduation recognition is offered in exchange for donation pledges of $20.22 per year until 2027. More general information about extending a gift to the Luther Fund can be found at https://www.luther.edu/giving/luther-fund/, or by contacting Torkelson.