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by Elyn Hirni, Reporter

This year, the UCM Foundation decided to get creative with their National Philanthropy Day celebration. Last Friday, a team of alumni ambassadors set up their information stand beside the Elliott Student Union, while their main vehicle of influence, the Prize Cab, sped students across campus to their next destinations, giving prizes to students who could answer trivia questions about the UCM Foundation correctly.

Students also had the opportunity to answer trivia questions and win prizes at the information stand, where one could pick up free handouts with information about the foundation as well as eat free cookies and drink hot chocolate.

The handouts had basic information about the foundation, but it focused on two main areas of giving: the Cambium Society and #GivingTuesday.

The Cambium Society is a group of donors in which membership is based on a 10-year pledge prior to graduation, starting with $10 the first year and totaling $550 over the 10 years. The Cambium Society has many methods of giving available for members. Those who pledge will be recognized at graduation and will be invited to special Cambium events.

These gifts help every part of the UCM community, from recruiting students and funding scholarships, to building onto the campus and funding research, and gifts can be easily designated to fund any particular aspect of the university. However, many donors prefer not to specify how their gifts should be used and put their donations to good use in the Fund for Excellence, which helps fund a variety of projects and programs at UCM. Among the most frequent designations for donations are the Fund for Excellence, the James C. Kirkpatrick Library, general scholarships, and international programs.

In an effort to increase donations during the holiday season, the UCM Foundation is taking part in #GivingTuesday, a national event that follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It offers people the chance to give back after the madness of holiday shopping. The event takes place Dec. 3, though donations can be made at any time at ucmo.edu/givingtuesday.

After winning prizes, eating snacks, and learning all of this information about the UCM Foundation, students had the opportunity to thank those who have donated their time and money to the foundation in video form, which was recorded by Matt Faupel, a graduate student at the Office of Alumni Relations.

“All of the information we’re handing out is just to educate students on the Foundation and where the scholarships come from…” Faupel said. “A lot of students use scholarships and they don’t know where it comes from. This kind of puts the donors and the students together.”

Students also had the opportunity to ride the Prize Cab. The cab, driven by Sheldon Smith, an alumni ambassador, picked up students and transported them to wherever they wished to go next, and provided yet another opportunity for the students to answer trivia questions about the UCM Foundation and win prizes.

Dalene Abner, Director of Development Communications for the UCM Foundation and the UCM Alumni Association, was responsible for putting together all the communication materials to celebrate National Philanthropy Day.

“This is the first year we’ve done this,” Abner said. “I am very pleased with the results. I think we’re getting a lot of attention and I’m glad to see that.”

The UCM Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1979 to help provide students the best opportunity to succeed in their education and reach their academic goals by helping to fund scholarships in all academic areas, awards for top faculty and students, major campus facilities, and championship athletic programs.

For more on the UCM Foundation, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 660-543-8000, visit ucmo.edu/foundation.

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