ECSU's 2nd Day of Giving exceeds funding, donor goals


Krystal Poyner (left) and Brittney Lamb, both seniors, work the phones at a call-in center at the Ridley Student Center during Elizabeth City State University's second annual Day of Giving campaign, Tuesday.


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Elizabeth City State University raised nearly $180,000 for the campus on Tuesday, exceeding its goal by nearly $30,000.

ECSU had hoped to raise $150,000 and enlist 1,500 donors for Tuesday’s second annual Day of Giving campaign. As of 3 p.m. on Tuesday, the fund drive had brought in $179,896 and notched 1,156 donors.

“I feel pretty good about this year,” said John Michael Lee Jr., ECSU’s vice chancellor for institutional advancement who was coordinating the effort at a call-in center at the Ridley Student Center on campus.

While the Day of Giving includes donations from individuals, it also includes donations by groups that participate in the campaign through challenges.  

Five community organizations participated in the community challenge this year: the Elizabeth City Rotary Club, the Elizabeth City Morning Rotary Club, the Downtown Business and Professional Association, Elizabeth City Downtown, Inc., and River City Community Development Corp.

A student challenge was also added this year, and as of Tuesday afternoon the women’s tennis team was leading it.

The 1970s alumni group was leading the “decades” challenge, with the 1960s alumni group close behind.

In the Greek organizations challenge the leader Tuesday afternoon was Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity — but Lee noted checks were still coming in.

The student challenge is new this year. Also new is the posting of donors’ names online.

Chorn Poyner, a senior business major at ECSU and president of the ECSU Student Government Association, was one of the volunteers at an ECSU call center on Tuesday. He said he’s been calling prospective donors for the past two weeks.

“It’s going great,” Poyner said. “I love the response that we’re getting from the alumni.”

Poyner said alumni enjoy getting calls from current students and hearing about what is going on now on the campus.

“And it gives us a chance to talk about our student experience as we’re talking to the donors,” Poyner said.

The atmosphere in the call center has been fun, complete with refreshments and supportive fellowship, Poyner said.

“We’ve had a pretty solid volunteer base during these past two weeks,” Poyner said. “I have enjoyed it. It has been a great experience for me.”

Poyner, who last year was vice president of finance for the Student Government Association, said he also participated in last year’s Day of Giving. For him, it’s all about giving back to the university and benefiting the next generation of students.

“I know that fundraisers like this can help the future students,” Poyner said.

According to Lee, interim Chancellor Karrie Dixon has been a great supporter of the Day of Giving, making some phone calls and posting a message on the ECSU Gives webpage.

“She has been a central part of making sure that the campaign is staying on course,” Lee said.

Alumni are excited about having Dixon at the helm, he said.

“I think the giving reflects that,” Lee said.

Although the Day of Giving challenges ended Tuesday, donors may still contribute to the 2018 Day of Giving drive through Saturday. To donate, visit www.ecsu.edu/ecsugives.