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U-M's fourth annual Giving Blueday encourages community to give back

ANN ARBOR—The University of Michigan's fourth annual Giving Blueday, a 24-hour fundraising campaign for hundreds of different programs and causes at Michigan, will be held Nov. 28.

This year, donors can also help U-M celebrate its 200th birthday by making gifts.

The campaign coincides with Giving Tuesday—a worldwide initiative emphasizing the importance of giving to nonprofit organizations. U-M joined the movement in 2014 with Giving Blueday.

For 24 hours on this day, anyone who supports Michigan may give to their favorite U-M programs and causes. Donors can visit the Giving Blueday website to view real-time progress, obtain information about causes and more.

Throughout the day, supporters can participate in 16 challenges and increase the impact of their gifts by taking advantage of more than $150,000 in matching funds.

"Giving Blueday is a special day to bring gifts of all sizes together for a big impact. This year, donors can honor Michigan's 200th birthday by giving to any area of the university," said Jerry May, U-M vice president for development.

This year's goal is to attract more donors than ever before. Last year, 7,364 donors gave more than $5.5 million in support of U-M.

Since 2014, student and new donor participation on Giving Blueday has continued to rise, with more than 100 student organizations participating each year. During the first three years of Giving Blueday combined, more than 6,500 donors made first-time gifts to U-M, with most donors making gifts in the range of $10 to $200.

Giving Blueday has encouraged people like U-M alumna Samantha Lemmen to embrace the culture of giving. A former scholarship student, Lemmen was president of Appreciate and Reciprocate, a philanthropy-focused student organization through the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Now, as an alumna, Lemmen supports Appreciate and Reciprocate on Giving Blueday, bringing the cycle of philanthropy full circle.

"It's important to give back because I know that donors' generosity made my U-M experience possible," Lemmen said.

By making gifts on Giving Blueday, donors also support the Victors for Michigan Campaign, which kicked off in fall 2013 and has raised over $4 billion to date.