From April 7 to April 9, UNC Charlotte held its sixth annual Niner Nation Gives campaign, which reached a record-breaking amount of donations to support the University's student success funds.
Originating in 2015, the Niner Nation Gives campaign is a 49-hour digital fundraising event aiming to raise money to support the University's undergraduate and graduate research programs.
"There are really three goals of the fundraiser: to encourage Niners across the country, the world and right here in Charlotte to come together and show that we care for one another, to raise support for programs, scholarships and other areas of greatest need at the University, and finally, to ask 49ers to show off their Niner pride and spread the word via social media using #NinerNationGives," said Shayna Long, director of annual giving and leader of this fundraiser.
"We saw over 5,500 donations totaling more than 2 million dollars in support," said Long. This is a record-breaking amount of donations for the University. On the Niner Nation Gives website, it states that $2,057,347 was raised in total.
The fundraiser was open to all members of the UNC Charlotte community, including students, staff, faculty and alumni. Long said, "We have over 1,000 students make a donation to support their fellow and future 49ers. It isn't the amount that makes a difference, it is the collective support from over 5,500 gifts that really adds up to make a big difference. Donors can choose any area on campus to support. We encourage them to find the area that means the most to them."
Long discussed the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on students and students' education. "Because this last year has been especially difficult for our students, we focused on our' student success' funds, such as the Jamil Niner Student Pantry, Student Emergency Fund, Alumni Scholarship for Social Justice and the Student Emergency Housing fund," said Long.
The Student Emergency Fund helps UNC Charlotte students by providing financial support when they need assistance with unexpected and unavoidable life emergencies that cause unforeseen expenses, including pandemics. There were $8,000 donated towards the Student Emergency Fund.
Additionally, the Student Emergency Housing Fund aims to assist students with temporary on-campus housing. The campaign raised $15,000 towards the Student Emergency Housing Fund.
The Jamil Niner Student Pantry has been actively assisting students throughout the pandemic. During the 2020 fall semester, more than 1,440 student orders were fulfilled through the Jamil Niner Student Pantry. Before the pandemic, the Jamil Niner Student Pantry assisted 80 to 90 students a week. Since March 2020, that has increased to nearly 200 students a week.
"We recognize that the pandemic has left our students in difficult situations and it was clear that Niner Nation wanted to help. Collectively, the student success funds received more donations than any other area of the University," said Long.
The DHIAA Pantry Challenge raised $1,049 and the TIAA Pantry Match Challenge raised $5,000 to the Jamil Niner Student Pantry.
In addition to the University's community, corporations such as Harris Teeter assisted in the donation process. On Jan. 25, Harris Teeter partnered with UNC Charlotte to support the Jamil Niner Student Pantry with a $100,000 donation.