First Giving Day campaign generates $124,209 to support CSUB programs


Rowdy the Roadrunner cheers on the crowd in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament final on Saturday, March 10 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

Ron Stapp, Sports editor


The holiday season is nearly two months away, but more than 500 people from showcasing their generosity by donating to Cal State Bakersfield through it’s first Giving Day campaign.

The 24-hour online giving campaign, that was organized as part of the school’s 50-year anniversary on Thursday, produced $124, 209 from 571 individual gifts. Of that amount, 97 gifts totaling $17,125 was ear-marked for Roadrunner athletics.

“The campus community and friends of the university have come together to commemorate CSUB’s impact and transformative power by participating in its first-ever Giving Day,” Danny Rodela, director of annual giving and stewardship said in a news release. “Their support is a testament to the resilience of CSUB, its students, and the community that makes it possible for our region to move forward and our students to rise. We appreciate the generosity of all our supporters.” 

Donations were contributed from alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents, fans and partners of the university. Support poured in from 21 states throughout the nation, as well as Canada.

Preliminary estimates show the amount contributed was $124,209 from 571 individual gifts.

This digital campaign encouraged the CSUB community to give toward areas of the university they are most passionate about, including a variety of other programs and initiatives, such as Student Affairs, the Alumni Association, Walter W. Stiern Library, the Antelope Valley campus and athletics. Student Affairs received the most gifts with 191, followed by athletics’ 97.

A live leaderboard was made available to track the money raised throughout the day on the campaign’s website. Giving Day ambassadors also volunteered their time and effort to help spread the word, as well as secure donors for the campaign.

CSUB’s `Runners are “on the rise” and the funds donated will help over 11,000 students continue to rise in their studies and future career endeavors. #CSUBGivingDay posts on official @CSUBakersfield accounts received over 85,570 impressions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram combined.

Throughout the day, CSUB social media accounts offered giveaways — exclusive 50th anniversary swag — for those using the hashtag and fulfilling challenges to spread support. Many students shared why donor support matters in videos.

“Because of your support, I not only get to play the sport that I love, but I also get to pursue my academic passions in the medical field,” CSUB scholar-athlete Vanessa Austin, who plays for the women’s basketball team, in a news release.

Groups from the campus and community also offered challenge money to support key initiatives. For example, CSUB President Lynnette Zelezny committed $50,000 toward student research as a challenge gift. It was unlocked when $15,000 was donated on Giving Day. 

CSUB’s Giving Day was a part of a growing national trend for dedicated giving days that have become popular at many nonprofit organizations and universities across the nation.