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Record-breaking number of donors support U-M on fourth Giving Blueday

ANN ARBOR—A record-breaking number of donors—more than 8,000—gave to their favorite causes at the University of Michigan during the fourth annual Giving Blueday, held on Giving Tuesday, a worldwide day of giving.

Giving Blueday 2017 attracted 841 more donors than the previous year, growing the family of Michigan supporters. All together, donors gave $4.43 million to the university in 24 hours.

For 24 hours on Nov. 28, all three university campuses—Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint—encouraged U-M supporters to help the university celebrate its 200th birthday by making gifts of all sizes to the cause of their choice. Giving Blueday focuses on expanding the university's community of donors.

"Giving Blueday was a tremendous success thanks to our donors," said Jerry May, vice president for development. "Year after year, donors demonstrate the significant impact we can all make in just one day."

Challenges, special events and real-time updates throughout the day motivated giving. Sixteen different challenges encouraged people to make donations and post about Giving Blueday on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for a chance to have their donation matched by other generous donors and the university. Some donors matched funds given for specific causes such as Doctors of Tomorrow, the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program, and Nursing at Michigan to boost support for these programs.

Causes including MUSIC Matters, the Women's Glee Club, and the Center for Global and Intercultural Study (CGIS) each won an extra $1,000 by posting on social media during different hourly and daylong challenges.

Student participation on Giving Blueday rose for the third straight year, with students acting as both donors and fundraisers on this day. More than 130 student organizations raised money for programs such as Semester in Detroit, student-sponsored fellowships at the Law School, Dance Marathon, the campus farm and more. At the diag and Pierpont Commons in Ann Arbor, students nominated causes of their choice to receive $50 donations.

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