Thinking big: second annual #QUTGivingDay raises more than $800,000 to ‘Imagine what’s next’

Thinking big: second annual #QUTGivingDay raises more than $800,000 to ‘Imagine what’s next’

Imagine a world where there is no waste. Or one where this no hunger or disease. A world where every student can realise their dream of studying at university.

On May 16, this shared vision was the drive behind QUT’s second annual #QUTGivingDay where thousands of QUT students, staff, alumni and friends came together to fundraise and ‘Imagine what’s next’ for 22 projects across the university.

The result was 2029 generous donors raising $813,681 in just 30 hours.

The Learning Potential Fund was well supported on the day with 382 donors having their gifts matched by QUT, raising a fantastic $449,987. Another 141 donors gave to the Faculty of Law Founders’ Scholarships Fund, helping to support law students facing financial hardship.

Giving Day
Students and staff at Giving Day.

More than 200 donors gave to the Waste Free World project, seeking to reduce global waste, while 164 gave to the Sustainable and Nutritious Food project, supporting researchers who are developing drought and disease resistant crops to feed the world’s growing population.

QUT Executive Director of Advancement Margo Powell said a key factor to the success of #QUTGivingDay was the collaboration across the university.

“It really gives the day a wonderful community and collaborative sentiment,” Margo said.

“Having that common goal of reaching 2,000 donors is something that really brings the QUT community together.

“Over half of the donors were people giving for the first-time, which is truly humbling. It shows that people outside of the direct QUT community believe in the vital work that is happening here.”

To celebrate 30 years of ground-breaking research and achievements since QUT officially became a university in 1989, this year’s #QUTGivingDay kicked off 30 hours of giving the night prior, with a special launch party on May 15.

More than 200 attendees including staff, alumni and donors joined the celebrations which showcased key research initiatives and programs from across the university, offering the opportunity to engage with researchers, students and other members of the QUT community.

Giving Day
Smoothie cycling at Giving Day.

In the spotlight were eight live pitches, as well as stories of scholarship recipients and researchers passionate about making a difference.

The philanthropic momentum continued the following day with hundreds of staff and students attending the #QUTGivingDay campus events on May 16.

They had the opportunity to sample sustainable and nutritious food developed locally to help solve the world’s major food challenges.

Chancellor Tim Fairfax AC and Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Margaret Sheil AO also joined in on the festivities at both Gardens Point and Kelvin Grove campuses, meeting students and researchers and giving out a few high fives to donors who gave $5 on the spot.

All 22 Giving Day projects were on hand to share research and discoveries in health, the environment and education. The Waste Free World project showed it was possible to mend clothes instead of throwing them away, and the team from the Extreme Science and Engineering Van was there to inspire the next generation of scientists.

This year’s #QUTGivingDay aimed to build on the success of the inaugural #QUTGivingDay in 2018, which raised more than $1.6 million thanks to the generous $1 million challenge donation made by friend and QUT alumnus, Greg Creed, CEO of Yum! Brands.

“Thanks to initiatives like QUT Giving Day over the last two years, as well as the continued work of our fundraisers and dedicated supporters, we have significantly enhanced the visibility and culture of philanthropy here at QUT,” Vice-President (Business Development), Professor Mark Harvey said.

“There is great potential to continue this momentum and I’m excited to be working with the Vice-Chancellor and the QUT executive leadership in growing QUT’s philanthropic efforts,” he said.

“I’d like to offer a very heartfelt thank-you to all who participated, contributed and donated to #QUTGivingDay. Let’s see what we can achieve in 2020!”

Missed Giving Day? You can still make a donation to the fantastic research and education programs at QUT.