Las Vegas Sun

October 23, 2018

Currently: 71° — Complete forecast

Inaugural UNLV fundraiser seeks more alumni donations

Image

Miranda Alam/Special to Sun

UNLV cheerleaders perform during a campus spirit rally for the inaugural Rebels Give fundraising challenge in front of the Student Union building at UNLV in Las Vegas on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018.

Rebels Give

Hey Reb! and UNLV cheerleaders perform during a campus spirit rally for the inaugural Rebels Give fundraising challenge in front of the Student Union building at UNLV in Las Vegas on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. Launch slideshow »

More alumni donors would help improve UNLV’s rankings in U.S. News & World Report’s list of best universities, an Alumni Association executive said today.

Standing among about 100 people gathered for a rally launching UNLV’s inaugural #RebelsGive fundraiser, UNLV Alumni Association Senior Vice President Chad Warren said the percentage of alumni who donate is indicated as “alumni satisfaction” in the annual ranking. That figure accounts for 5 percent of a university’s overall ranking.

“We need to get alumni, faculty, staff and students to realize that giving matters,” Warren said. “It’s not about the dollar amount.”

While many schools target specific needs in annual donation drives, #RebelsGive will allow donors to choose which of the school’s 18 colleges, dozens of student organizations, athletic programs or other causes to which they wish to donate. Donations can be made at RebelsGive.unlv.edu.

The drive, which began this morning, lasts 1,957 minutes — just over 32 hours — in honor of the year UNLV was founded.

While donors are encouraged to give year-round, the inaugural drive will feature 55 matches by larger donors if a certain dollar figure is reached. The drive ends just after 6:30 p.m. Friday.

The university received a record $93 million in gifts during fiscal 2017, most for athletic facilities and the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality building, Warren said. UNLV raised $60 million in donations in fiscal 2018.

Warren said 5 percent of gifts are more than $25,000. Those gifts account for 95 percent of the university’s yearly donations and are “the backbone that allow new projects to break ground.”

But smaller gifts also matter, he said, not only to improve alumni engagement numbers for annual rankings but “to help support the mission.”

UNLV’s plans for future construction include expansion of the university’s medical and engineering school buildings, Warren said.

Making a brief appearance at today’s rally, held on a plaza behind the school’s Student Union, UNLV acting President Marta Meana took to the stage to fire up the crowd

“On your mark, get set, give!” she shouted, as confetti fell.