Stout Gives Back seeks to impact campus in meaningful ways through matching donations

National Giving Day event connects alumni and university community to students
Abbey Goers | November 24, 2021

UW-Stout is celebrating National Giving Day with its third annual Stout Gives Back event on Tuesday, Nov. 30.

Stout Gives Back is a 24-hour campaign for Blue Devils and others to unite and celebrate the university by giving back to an area of campus that is meaningful to them, whether that’s supporting students through scholarships, providing for their basic needs or donating to a specific lab, program or Athletics.

Last year, 330 donors gave a total of $82,000 to Stout Gives Back. This year, the Stout University Foundation has a goal of $100,000. And donors can double their impact, with exclusive matching gifts set up through several funds, including:

Becky Cranston has committed $1 million, plus other financial support, to dietetics faculty development at UW-Stout, her alma mater.
Alum and donor Becky Cranston

Donors can specify or make undesignated gifts. Hosted by the Foundation, donations can be made online or by check and can be addressed to Stout University Foundation, 320 S. Broadway St., Menomonie, Wis., 54751.

Impacting students and encouraging others

The Student Emergency Fund provides financial resources to help students facing unforeseen hardships. Frank and her husband, Dvorsky, helped to establish the fund in March 2020.


Chancellor Frank and her husband, Joe Dvorsky, touring the Clock Tower
Chancellor Frank and her husband, Joe Dvorsky / UW-Stout

“Being able to help students eliminate a barrier complicating or causing stress in their lives can have a tremendous impact on their success at UW-Stout,” Frank said. “It can often be the deciding factor in their ability to continue to pursue their education. Creating a sustainable fund to help meet the needs of our students is an investment in their future and supports our mission as a university focused on student success.”

Riebe is passionate about supporting the Fostering Success program, which offers guidance and resources for youth who have been in foster care, homeless or orphaned and who want to pursue higher education. She hopes to encourage others to give.

“The most moral and ethical thing you can do is to share your wealth,” she said. “To share gives me pleasure – to provide a safety net for those less fortunate.”

On top of financial support, the campus community can also join the Baldrige Valuing People group in a campuswide food drive to support Helping Hand Food+ Pantry, which provides access to food and other life essentials for students facing insecurities.

Throughout the week the group will be collecting nonperishable food and personal care items. Campus community members can find additional information, including drop-off locations and items of greatest need on Stout Cloud.


On-campus food pantry open to all students, addresses food insecurity, accepting donations

Helping Hand offers food, clothing and sense of community
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Jen Rohde, annual giving officer, and Jen Rudiger, development program specialist, researched National Giving Day and how other UW System schools built their funds for two years before Stout Gives Back was ready to become a fixture on campus.

“It was a passion project,” Rohde said. “Stout Gives Back is a donor-led, student-focused day, when donors can unite together to impact campus in different ways.”

In talking with donors, Rudiger often feels they want to make the current generation of students’ experiences better than their own. “Donors are grateful to have an impact,” she said. “It makes them feel good. Giving is an easy way for them to stay connected to students and their alma mater.”

Giving Day donors can share the hashtag #STOUTGIVESBACK to encourage others to give and follow social media sites for the university, Alumni Association and Athletics for posts on information prior to and throughout the event.

Stout University Foundation recently held its annual scholarship event, awarding a record annual amount of more than $977,000 in scholarships to 436 students.

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