PHILANTHROPY IS CHANGING AT AN EVER-INCREASING PACE. Technology makes it easy for people to learn about a cause, make a gift and immediately know how it was used and how many others gave. It’s instant and powerful. Individual and collective.

At KU Endowment, we’re adopting the most promising trends to help us connect with donors of all ages. That was the impetus behind the 24-hour One Day. One KU. initiative, which took place on Feb. 20. By all measures, it was a huge success. It connected thousands of donors to KU, and to each other, for one day. Through the power of social media and other technologies, they instantly saw the results of their giving.


Most gifts made on Feb. 20 were modest, but the people who made them became change agents. Every dollar they gave went to the school or unit of their choice, making a powerful impression. Individual donors represent 90 percent of all gifts to KU, and most donations in a given year total $500 or less, but their collective power is impressive.

Some of these donors eventually become significant philanthropists whose names become part of the history of the University of Kansas. This semester, we saw the opening of the privately funded Ritchie and Slawson halls, which make up the impressive Earth, Energy and Environment Center. The lead donors were alumni Scott and Carol Ritchie and the family of alumnus Donald Slawson. Thanks to alumnus David Booth’s historic gift, the university was able to break ground on a much-needed indoor football practice facility. It’s the first step in upgrades associated with the stadium, now renamed the David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. It takes belief and confidence in the future for these donors to make such significant investments.

Private philanthropy is one of the measures that makes some universities exceptional. KU is fortunate to be one of those. 

Each of you, whether you made a modest gift or a major one, took a unifying action: you became change agents and showed the power of one