The leaves are changing color and we have entered the season of Thanksgiving in the United States! Serving as the President of the NIRSA Foundation has been an incredible experience, one that I treasure. I’ve served on the NIRSA Foundation Board for five years and I get to meet the most incredible and generous members of our NIRSA family. And I am not just talking about the gifts they make, I’m talking about the gifts they wholeheartedly give to the NIRSA family through their time and commitment to mentoring the generation behind them, so those individuals can also have amazing experiences in their careers.

When asked to share their “why,” we often hear that it is to “pay it forward,” to create opportunities for students and colleagues—to support people on their path. The testimonials I see coming through each day always move me and are a true inspiration.

I think our newest Legacy Society member Will Boucher says it best:

“NIRSA has given me so much personally and professionally. Really the number one reason for the person I am today. I want to give back and have an impact on the future generations of campus rec professionals. My mentors and family have always preached two things:

  1. Leave something better than when you got it.
  2. Pay it forward.

My work with The Foundation, serving as Chair of the Student Development Committee, being a member of the Younger Giving Work Team, making monthly donations, and now being a member of the Legacy Society is just a start for how I would like to give back, thank NIRSA and this profession for what it has given me.”

The NIRSA Foundation exists for you and is possible because of you

In 2015, the NIRSA Foundation began a targeted campaign to elevate the work of our foundation and to ensure a healthy future for our members. Your response has been amazing.

Since then, the NIRSA Foundation has:

  • Grown to 157 monthly donors
  • Seen an increase in younger professional members shaping the future of campus rec through their donations
  • Enrolled ten new members in the Legacy Society, four of whom are young professionals—confirming that this generation is forward thinking and thinking ahead to the future of campus rec

Look at our growth! You did this, and because of you we are offering more opportunities to our members through scholarships, student officials development, and research—both the Institutional Data Set and Salary Census as well as research grants. We are also working to ensure we can support the wellbeing initiatives in the NIRSA strategic plan through gifts to the general fund.

With 4,000+ members in our organization, there’s room for growth and hope you will invest in your “NIRSA family” on #GivingTuesday this November 27. One-time gifts, monthly gifts, do whatever is right for you. As we like to say at UC Davis, “Come As You Are.”

Fuel your network on #GivingTuesday

On #GivingTuesday, you can help the NIRSA Foundation meets its goals and $2,500 match from Hughes Group Architects by making a gift in support of the NIRSA family. Our goals are to:

  • Inspire 105 donors to support their NIRSA family through a one-time gift
  • Enroll five new Cornerstone Society monthly donors
  • Raise $9,800 to ensure a thriving future for campus rec

Donors who make at least a $25 gift during the #GivingTuesday appeal, which lasts from November 26–28, will receive a special #GivingTuesday donor ribbon at the 2019 NIRSA Annual Conference & Campus Rec and Wellness Expo.

Fuel your network to pay it forward to future generations of campus rec leaders by participating in our #GivingTuesday photo contest for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Details about the contest can be found at our #GivingTuesday webpage.

Be sure to keep an eye on our social media to learn about the impact your gifts have on your NIRSA family and to hear from members who have benefitted from your generosity.


Director at University of California, Davis | NIRSA Profile

Deb Johnson, RCRSP, is currently the Director at the University of California, Davis. She is a member of the NIRSA Foundation Board of Directors.