Courtesy of Cal Poly

After the ironic juxtaposition of Thanksgiving and the capitalism-centered Black Friday comes #GivingTuesday, a global movement dedicated to both giving back to the local community and supporting philanthropic causes across the world.

“[We’re organizing #GivingTuesday] so that philanthropy is an expectation among students and part of what it means to be a Cal Poly student or graduate, because we’re people who support each other,” Annual Giving Communications Specialist Melody Klemin said.

Primarily a 24-hour social media campaign, #GivingTuesday will take place on Tuesday.

“We’re jumping on that national momentum and making it quite clear that you can give to the Cal Poly you love,” Communications Specialist Cathee Sandstrom said.

In past years, the College of Engineering (CENG) has been the sole leader of the campaign on campus; in its first run, CENG raised almost $50,000 for engineering clubs and other student-led projects.

This year, however, “we’re taking #GivingTuesday campus-wide, with all six colleges and Student Affairs participating and running micro-campaigns for different projects that directly benefit students,” Klemin said.

Alumni, parents, supporters and students can donate to several college-specific causes, from Orfalea College of Business’s International Travel Grant fund, which provides financial aid to business students seeking to study abroad, to College of Liberal Arts’ Expressive Technology Studios, the first interdisciplinary space dedicated toward student collaboration to be built on campus by 2020.

#GivingTuesday also serves as precursor for Cal Poly’s first “Day of Giving” to take place March, which will continue to emphasize the spirit of gratitude and generosity on campus.

Though a digital crowdfunding effort, the essence of #GivingTuesday centers around cultivating universal altruism in the Mustang family.

“We’re seeking the number of donors’ support, not the dollars,” Sandstrom said. “It’s more important that it’s a team effort, that everyone’s on board, [and that] we create this sense of family in giving back.”

Student philanthropy liaison and journalism senior Mariam Alamshahi hopes that “three years from now, [#GivingTuesday] isn’t just some thing that is coming out of the blue, but students know about it, they’re excited about it, and they’re ready to participate.”

Students can act as ambassadors for #GivingTuesday by spreading the word on social media platforms on or before Tuesday, sharing the #GivingTuesday video from their respective college, and posting an “un-selfie” around campus with the hashtag #CalPolyGivingTuesday, Klemin said.

Moreover, whether it be one of the Cal Poly campaigns or the countless humanitarian missions around the world, find a cause to support and share your passion for it.

“[#GivingTuesday] can benefit a student today or tomorrow, and in the long-run as a graduate,” Klemin said. “This builds on our legacy and makes Cal Poly stronger overall both on campus and beyond.”

For more information on the micro-campaigns that will be held during #GivingTuesday, visit

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