Bryant University’s ‘Giving Day’ raises school-record $2.34M

Updated at 4 p.m.

BRYANT UNIVERSITY'S annual Giving Day on Wednesday raised a school-record $2.34 million. / COURTESY BRYANT UNIVERSITY
BRYANT UNIVERSITY'S annual Giving Day on Wednesday raised a school-record $2.34 million. / COURTESY BRYANT UNIVERSITY

SMITHFIELD – Bryant University’s annual Giving Day on Wednesday was another record-setter for the private university.

The university’s 24-hour fundraising initiative raised $2.34 million through 6,080 gifts from 4,782 individual donors. Not only does this break last year’s record of $2.02 million raised for Bryant, but it is also the fourth straight year in which the initiative raised at least $1 million.

For further perspective, Wednesday’s Giving Day fundraising was 16% higher than last year and the day also saw a 24% increase in donors from 2022.

Bryant Vice President of Advancement Dave Wegrzyn told Providence Business News Thursday that Wednesday’s record day of giving at the university speaks to the support of Bryant’s Vision 2030 strategic plan, which includes various ongoing initiatives and proposals to improve and expand Bryant’s academic and campus experience. That plan and initiative, Wegrzyn said, is resonating with alumni and different communities the university serves, thus prompting them to want to financially support Bryant.

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“People are realizing that we’re a great value with a return on investment, and they’re willing to help invest in our strategic plan,” Wegrzyn said. “People are excited to invest in Bryant. Bryant is relevant for producing employer-ready citizens with character. That message today resonates with people, and it’s great for us to see this momentum going.”

According to Bryant’s online Giving Day portal, more than 700 advocates rallied more than 2,000 donors to contribute to the university’s various programs and initiatives. That resulted in raising more than $150,000 for Bryant.

Furthermore, 27 program fundraising challenges were met throughout the day, unlocking an additional $1 million in bonus dollars contributed to the university, mainly from Bryant alumni and former leadership. Additionally, Bryant received donations from multiple other countries, including Australia, Singapore, China, Ecuador, France, India, Malaysia and Mexico, as well as across the European continent. Wegrzyn also said the social media presence, with videos from students asking for and showing support for Bryant, also helped spread the word about the university Wednesday.

The university’s annual scholarship program received $295,538 from 102 donors Wednesday during Giving Day. Various athletic programs at Bryant, including men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s tennis, baseball and softball, received five-figure bonus gifts from Bryant alumni during the initiative.

Former Bryant president Ronald K. Machtley and his wife, Kati, contributed $24,000 to the Black & Gold Athletics Fund when 1,700 donors made gifts to support any athletic program during Giving Day. Former Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co. Ltd. top executive Alan H. Litwin and Marianne T. Litwin made an additional $100,000 to the university’s entrepreneurship program at the College of Business once 10 donors contributed to the program. Bryant Fund co-chairs Joe and Kathi Puishys, Cynthia Schmitt-Sprinkle and Joan Water also contributed $100,000 gifts to Bryant during Wednesday’s Giving Day.

Moving forward, Wegrzyn said Wednesday’s Giving Day accounted for 10% of all the fundraising Bryant did last year, which was a record-high of $23 million. He anticipates that this year will be another record fundraising year to further the university and its initiative.

(UPDATED with response from Bryant University Vice President of Advancement Dave Wegrzyn.)

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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