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Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

Giving Day and SSU “brand” ambassador program

Sonoma State University introduces student brand ambassadors for fourth annual Giving Day to boost community engagement and philanthropic support
Students+promote+SSUs+annual+Giving+Day.
Carly Davis
Students promote SSU’s annual Giving Day.

 

Giving Day is one of the most important philanthropic events at Sonoma State as a 24-hour fundraising event aimed at fostering connections between the university and the larger community while raising crucial funds for campus programs. In its fourth annual iteration, a new initiative is set to enhance engagement and empower students to contribute to the community while earning a bit of income.

University Advancement, located on the 2nd floor of Salazar Hall, will temporarily employ four students during the spring semester as brand ambassadors, from February to April when the event will be held. Tasked with promotional activities and community engagement, these ambassadors will connect with students and donors through tabling events, social media campaigns through Sonoma State’s Instagram and Facebook, and emphasizing the significance of Giving Day to both Sonoma State students, student organizations, and the broader community, with the attempt to boost engagement and donations to support Sonoma State, through private fundraising efforts. 

Unlike previous years when the department had students working on raising awareness for Giving Day, this new approach focuses on dedicated student ambassadors. Previous students were employed year-round by the department, balancing various responsibilities. Instead, the new ambassador program will have students exclusively focused on Giving Day, working five to 10 hours a week for nine weeks from Feb. 12 to April 12. 

Casey Kelly, new to the University Advancement department, spearheads the initiative. With prior experience launching the Seawolf Living “Brandbassador” Program, Kelly proposed and executed the campaign in her new position. When talking about how she created the program, she stated, “I started the Seawolf Living Brandbassdor Program, and while I was new to this role, I had a great experience with that program and saw the benefits of having students voice their opinions and be heard.”

This merged with the idea from the University Advancement Office of boosting community engagement by introducing ambassadors to the school community. Tiffany O’Neill, Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations and University Engagement, underscores the belief that the best way to raise awareness through Giving Day is for donors to hear it from the students., O’Neill said. “If donors and alumni can hear from students and the student perspective about why they should give and support programs at Sonoma State, that is so much more impactful than a staff member asking for donations”. 

Tramaine Austin-Dillon, Manager of DEI Programs and Initiatives talked about the impact and Goal of what he would like to see this giving day from the perspective of student organizations. He stated, “Sonoma State Giving Day cultivates a sense of community and collective action. My aspiration for this year’s Giving Day is to amplify awareness and recognition for the Black Student Union (BSU) and our Male Success Initiative (MSI). Both initiatives are dedicated to enhancing the recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of Black students at SSU”.  

For Student Organizations that may be interested in participating in the Giving Day Fundraising Program, they have until March 1 to sign up and can do so by going to the Giving Day website. Student Organizations are also welcome to be represented for Giving Day, allowing their particular interest to be spotlighted and earn funds.

The Department expresses enthusiasm for the ambassador initiative and anticipates its continuity in the future, as they look for ways to grow the Sonoma State brand. 

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About the Contributor
Jason Hill, Staff Writer
Jason Hill is a third year communication major at Sonoma State.
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