Huskies United Raises Over $2.6M, Beating Last Year's Record By More Than $14,000

By Tony Scott


What a year for Huskies United Day of Giving - raising more than $2.6 million to support NIU students and programs. What an accomplishment! It’s so inspiring to see what the Huskie community can do when we join together!

In just 1,895 minutes – symbolizing NIU’s founding year - on March 20 and 21, the Huskie Pack stepped up and raised 2,623 individual gifts totaling $2,604,317. This beats last year's Huskies United fundraising record by more than $14,000.

Huskies United gives alumni, faculty, staff and friends in the NIU community opportunities to engage with the university they love by supporting student scholarships, research and other areas of NIU that mean the most to them. 

They know, for example, about the vital role scholarships play in transforming students' lives, empowering them to focus on their studies, engage in extracurricular activities and contribute to their communities. Their generosity during Huskies United ensures that students can continue to receive that crucial support.

In addition to scholarships, Huskies United funded other areas of need that further enhance the university experience for all students. Whether funding innovative research projects, upgrading facilities, or supporting programs that promote diversity and inclusion, the philanthropy of those who gave during Huskies United helped create a dynamic and enriching environment where students can thrive.

The Northern Fund provides flexible, unrestricted support that allows NIU to seize emerging opportunities and confidently plan to meet the demands of our rapidly changing environment.

As they have in past years, generous donors contributed to a variety of Huskies United giving challenges to help augment their fellow donors' impact. 

One exciting example was our Huskies United Participation Challenge, which unlocked a $150,000 gift to support the Northern Fund when 1,500 in total gifts were made to any area during Huskies United. In addition, the Huskies United Leadership Donor Challenge unlocked a $50,000 gift to support the Northern Fund when 50 Leadership Society-level gifts of $1,000 or more were made. Through the Huskies United Plus 1 Challenge, $25,000 was raised for the Northern Fund once 2,415 gifts were raised.

Some giving challenges supported specific areas of study. One of them was the College of Law 50th Anniversary Endowment Fund Challenge. Mary Milano, '78, a member of the College of Law's first graduating class and member of the Law Board of Visitors, donated $40,000 after 50 gifts were made to the 50th Anniversary Endowment Fund, which supports student scholarships and other critical needs of the College of Law. Additionally, an anonymous donor funded the College of Health and Human Sciences Achievement Challenge, which unlocked a $105,0000 gift after 105 donations were made to any area of the college. These were just two of the many challenges made and met for various areas and colleges of NIU.

To learn more about the challenges that were unlocked during the day of giving event, click here.

“The success of the day of giving belongs to the entire NIU community," said Meghan McClure Miller, the NIU Foundation's director of annual giving. "From the energy on social media to the students in the Holmes Student Center, Huskies United shows there are no limits in the spirit of Huskie Nation.”

As always, a committed group of ambassadors were key players in this year's fundraising by getting the word out about Huskies United using social media, texting, emailing and networking with others passionate about NIU and its students. This year, ambassadors raised 314 gifts worth $38,108, more than any group of ambassadors has raised during past Huskies United events.

This year, the Huskies United team set up the Huskie Headquarters in the Organizations and Student Involvement Suite (OASIS) at the Holmes Student Center to get the word out about Huskies United. It included promotions and games such as the Huskie Headquarters Cash Grab game. During the Cash Grab game, in which participants could grab as much fake cash as possible in a "wind tunnel" that would be gifted to an area of NIU of their choosing, $1,355 was raised and donated to 15 different areas of NIU.

The Huskie Pack, the dedicated community of alumni, faculty, staff, and friends, demonstrated incredible generosity by rallying together for Huskies United.  Their commitment to the university's mission of accessibility and excellence embodies the spirit of unity and empowerment that defines a true Huskie.

For more information on Huskies United, please click here.