The compassion, generosity, and selflessness of NIRSA members was on full display during the Annual Giving Campaign surrounding NIRSA 2018. This is the NIRSA Foundation’s largest fundraising campaign of the year, and over and over, members proved their desire to elevate their NIRSA Family by paying it forward.

When you donate…

Our NIRSA Family surpassed our ambitious 2018 goal to raise $81,000 during the campaign, with 480 donors contributing $85,278 through one-time donations and monthly giving commitments—a 7% increase from the 2017 campaign! Thank you to everyone who made a donation or participated in our fundraising activities.

This success was due in large part to the generosity of NIRSA members enrolling in the Cornerstone Society, our monthly giving program. Our members stepped up to a $5,000 challenge issued by Bob and Darcy Bingham, CRSS, to see 118 monthly donors. In fact, our members soared above both these goals: When we left Denver, the number of Cornerstone Society members more than doubled to 167 monthly donors! These donors create a sustainable funding stream by contributing more than $4,000 per month.

NIRSA’s young professionals truly turned out to blow this monthly goal out of the water through the “Mile High Five Club,” an initiative for under-ten-year professionals to donate at least $5 per month in the Cornerstone Society. While many contribute more than $5 per month, 108 of our monthly donors have been in the profession for ten years or fewer. It was inspiring to see so many young professionals excited to give back in support of their NIRSA Family—family members like Juliana Frigerio, 2018 NIRSA Foundation General Scholarship recipient.

“NIRSA does everything they can to create opportunities for others,” Juliana says. “The NIRSA Foundation scholarships are no exception to this. As a recipient, I was humbled by the amount of donors who invest in professional development and personal growth.”

We feel the same way. The generosity of our NIRSA family is humbling and awe-inspiring. Donations made in 2017 sent 62 NIRSA members to NIRSA 2018, The School, and the Facilities Institute on full-registration scholarships and covered another 38 registrations to preconference workshops. Your donations in 2018 ensure that our scholarship program will offer an increasing number of NIRSA members the ability to attend professional development events without shouldering registration fees.

NIRSA students were on a mission to see scholarships increase as well. The 2017–2018 NIRSA Student Leadership Team brought a “For Students, By Students” fundraising initiative to Denver, asking their peers to pay it forward and fund student scholarships to NIRSA 2019. The passion and heart the SLT put into this fundraising raised $1,696 to send three student members to Boston next year. NIRSA students made a huge impact in Denver: it was their fundraising efforts that initially put us over our $81,000 Conference goal.

…and when you participate…

NIRSA members ensured the success of our popular T-Shirt & Apparel Sale fundraiser; we completely sold out of shirts and other donated items! This event is made possible thanks to our NIRSA Family’s donations of items for the sale. Thank you to everyone who dropped off their campus rec swag to support this fundraiser! Red Rocks Community College won Best in Show in the T-Shirt Competition for their humorous, cat-tastic, rec center shirt. Congratulations to them and to the other winning shirts, which can be viewed on our Facebook page. Be sure to set your shirts and apparel items aside for the NIRSA 2019 sale and competition in Boston!

While only 41 participants rose before sunrise, bundled up, and turned out for the chilly Mark Fletcher Fun Run/Walk, 95 people registered for the event. Seven individuals chose to sleep in or run on their own in support of their NIRSA Family through the In My Dreams Virtual Run.

Our online auction brought in more than $1,200 to support the NIRSA Foundation’s areas of greatest need. The winning bid of the 2018 NIRSA Foundation T-Shirt Quilt, a one-of-a-kind prize designed by Mama Lee Wasson and friends, went to Eric Weber of Woodway, a NIRSA Foundation Corporate Partner. Rebecca Peoples of Matrix Fitness Systems, also a NIRSA Foundation Corporate Partner, placed the winning bids for both the Star Wars and Stranger Things signed, limited-edition art prints. Thanks to everyone who placed a bid this year, and an extra big thank you to Mama Wasson for her quilted masterpiece. And thank you to Catherine Cramp, CRSS, for donating the art prints.

…you provide for your NIRSA Family

The generosity of our donors allows the NIRSA Foundation to invest in the NIRSA Family, providing resources and opportunities that support the Association and the campus rec profession.

The increasing number of scholarships your donations deliver has a huge impact on our members. For 2018 Region IV Scholarship recipient Riley Spenningsby that impact is more than financial; donations to scholarships demonstrate the big hearts of our NIRSA Family.

“Being provided financial assistance, that was donated by so many of my peers, allowed me to see how much the NIRSA community cares about one another,” Riley says. “We as a community are constantly giving back to one another so we can each better ourselves, and this scholarship was a prime example of some else’s selfless generosity.”

Contributions to the area of greatest need and our four fields of interest do more than just send members to NIRSA’s premier professional development events. When you donate or participate in our fundraising activities, you support professional development opportunities like the NIRSA Research Grant Program, for which applications are being accepted through June 30. In addition to providing excellent opportunities for grant writing and research, this program contributes to the growing body of academic literature that illustrates the value of campus rec.

You provide member resources like the Institutional Data Set (IDS) and Salary Census, which provide valuable benchmarking information for the profession. The IDS grants members access to relevant data about campus rec facilities, programs, and services. Salary Census allows departments to evaluate the competitiveness of their salaries prior to posting job openings and ensures members make informed decisions about job offers.

You provide solutions to nationwide issues like the shortage of young officials from the community and local levels all the way up to elite levels of college and professional competition. Gifts made to the Student Officials Development Campaign provide a high level of evaluation and training to student officials at the annual NIRSA flag football and basketball championships by paying for lodging, meals, and on-site transportation for the student officials and their NIRSA volunteer evaluators.

Learn more

If you’re curious about cumulative giving levels and want to know which level you’re in following NIRSA 2018, check out the honor roll.