University of Toronto to hold inaugural Giving Day on March 28

U of T’s global community will come together for a special, one-day drive
U of T’s global community will come together for a special, one-day drive to support the Defy Gravity campaign and celebrate inclusive excellence
The University of Toronto is inviting its global community of alumni, friends, faculty members and staff to participate in its inaugural "Giving Day" on March 28 . 

The university will match contributions up to $1,000 dollar-for-dollar while matching funds last. It is also encouraging alumni to share their involvement on social media and to "like" and share University of Toronto’s posts about the remarkable students and researchers who are applying their diverse expertise, experiences and perspectives to solve societal challenges.

Giving Day celebrates University of Toronto’s commitment to inclusive excellence - the driving inspiration for its Defy Gravity  campaign, which aims to raise $4 billion and encourage 225,000 alumni to contribute their time and talent to the university one million times collectively.

Claire Kennedy , a co-chair of University of Toronto’s Defy Gravity campaign, says the campaign is deepening the scope and impact of transformative work across the university.

"It’s truly wonderful to see our global community embracing and supporting University of Toronto’s role as an engine for leadership and positive social impact," she says.

"Giving Day gives us a unique, one-day opportunity to build on this."

Donations made on Giving Day will support student wellness and success, create scholarships for students from underrepresented and equity-deserving groups and fuel diverse research on a broad range of global issues.

"It’s no small goal to build a more sustainable, prosperous and equitable future for everyone, but we can do it with the help of our incredible community," says campaign co-chair John Cassaday. "By matching donations on Giving Day, we can multiply the opportunities to help our bright students and faculty members thrive."

Twenty-four-hour-long giving days provide post-secondary institutions and charities across North America with opportunities to harness the power of collective generosity and build community.

Sana Halwani , president of the University of Toronto Alumni Association and member of the Defy Gravity Campaign Steering Committee, says she and her fellow board members are excited to participate in Giving Day. "Support contributes to a sense of belonging and is key to nurturing our students, staff, faculty members, volunteers and alumni," she says.

Ultimately, Kennedy and Cassaday say University of Toronto’s Giving Day on March 28 will be about making an impact and strengthening what makes University of Toronto an exceptional place.

"By embracing diverse ideas, perspectives and cultures, University of Toronto is creating a generation of thinkers who are willing to challenge orthodoxy, ask big questions and push boundaries," Cassady says. "It’s exciting and precisely what the world needs right now."  

As part of Giving Day, the university is amplifying stories about talented University of Toronto students and researchers, including Nya Lazarus Munnick, a master’s student in sustainability management, whose research aims to help vulnerable communities enhance resiliency, social well-being and environmental sustainability; Amy Shawanda , who is conducting post-doctoral research in the Indigenization of public health at the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health; and first-year electrical and computer engineering student John David Genus , who is working to ensure more students see future careers in STEM.

"Members of the University of Toronto community worldwide have an unprecedented opportunity to make an impact and come together to help our students and researchers thrive," says David Palmer , University of Toronto’s vice-president, advancement and interim vice-president, communications. "University of Toronto Giving Day demonstrates our shared Defy Gravity campaign values and underscores our ability to achieve incredible things, including addressing the most urgent issues of our time.

"Simply put, we thrive when we rise together."

Statement of Land Acknowledgement We wish to acknowledge this land on which the University of Toronto operates. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.  Read about University of Toronto’s Statement of Land Acknowledgement.