Every year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, the "Giving Tuesday" message spreads across the nation to celebrate and promote the idea of giving.
This message spread to Penn State THON, which celebrated Giving Tuesday in a 24-hour long event that began at midnight on Tuesday, Dec. 3.
The Monumental Steps in the HUB-Robeson Center featured a picture booth partnered with Johnson & Johnson that donated $1 toward THON for each photo taken.
Additionally, many donated online.
“Our goal is not dollars raised, but number of donors and how many people can be impact in a short day and to spread our mission as far as we can,” THON social media captain Stephanie Galetta said.
Although not about the donation matching, THON set two "golden hours" to encourage fundraising so an individuals’ fundraising total could be doubled.
The first golden hour occurred from 11 a.m. to 12:59 p.m., and the THON Nation Group Fundraising matched every donation up to $100. In total, $7,500 could be matched.
The second golden hour occurs from 6 p.m. to 7:59 p.m. Student self-donations on individual DonorDrive pages will be matched up to $15. Self donations will be matched up to $2,500.
Galetta (senior-kinesiology) and Kristin Hayes, another social media captain, played a large role in the 24-hour event as much of the price matching occurred through online donations and social media pushes.
Hayes (senior-advertising) said the social media pushes were important during the fundraising hours, as they posted every single hour since 6 a.m. on their platforms.
Donations can be made through donate.THON.org, and donations will be matched up to $46 all day by Johnson & Johnson.
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“I would say our goal for the rest of the day is to just keep spreading awareness about our cause — just trying to keep encourage volunteers, stakeholders, donors to keep spreading our mission and see how far we can reach,” Galetta said.
Rachel Lewis, a Penn State alumna and current Johnson & Johnson employee, helped bring THON and the company together to cooperate.
After being involved in THON at Penn State and dancing for her business fraternity Phi Beta Lambda, Lewis was excited to begin working for Johnson & Johnson because of the company's strong sense of community and giving back.
“We are a credo-driven company and one of our guiding principles is giving back to the communities that we live and work in,” she said. “I think it’s important for us to have these types of partnerships.”
Johnson & Johnson outline its credo, or purpose statement, to ensure the values of the company are carried through. Lewis said these values are seen in the company’s donations to THON over the years, which Lewis said total at over $300,000.
THON began holding a Giving Tuesday event two years ago. Previously, THON held online Giving Tuesday donation encouragements, but in partnership with Johnson & Johnson, THON was able to turn it into a HUB takeover from the support.
Katie Solomon works with the partnership developments directly, as the donor and alumni relations development director, Solomon (senior-criminology) often works with the partnerships like Johnson & Johnson.
She said bringing in stakeholders like Johnson & Johnson allows THON to expand the reach of support across the nation.
“What [Johnson & Johnson] does is provide incentive matching funds that makes the thought of giving a little bit more exciting — just letting a donor know that they potentially could double their impact and on is super special and impactful,” she said.
Johnson & Johnson, as well as a few other partners, will continue to help THON throughout the fundraising year so THON is able to keep down its costs. Solomon said this allows THON to keep its donations to go directly to the Four Diamonds fund.
“We are so thankful for all the support that they've given us,” she said. “They've been incredible partners and been willing to do anything and whatever they need to do to support our mission, which is really special.”